I came to AMT expecting a challenge to grow and develop skills, talents, and gifts I had only seen whispers of in my life in Madison. I came expecting to learn numerous useful ministry skills and to have a lot of fun with a new group of people. I wanted to have crazy adventures in the African bush and do ridiculous improvised hack-job repairs and fabrications in the warehouse. There were a few things I wasn't really excited about (the heat and the local food) and a bunch of stuff I had no opinion on because I had no idea they existed (driving rainstorms and Jurassic Park-sized freaky-looking bugs). Well, I guess I got what I came for and then some.
AMT has been a whirlwind of class topics, homework, physical training, lectures, worship, chores, and so much more that it is hard to pause and evaluate all that's happened. The staff and long-term volunteers on the base make comments about how all of us AMT students have changed since we arrived and we can see some of these changes ourselves but we can't see it all right now. I think it will be well into my return to the States when I gain a more complete understanding of how I've grown in spiritual maturity, leadership skill, travel smarts, interpersonal relations, and my ministry giftings. All this growth and equipping I've experienced also comes with increased responsibility and opportunities to put it all to work. I've taken on significant leadership and teaching roles within my AMT class lately and I've had several discussions with Overland staff about what my future with Overland might look like.
Now, I look back and I see myself having accomplished much that I either never dreamed of or was once greatly intimidated by. I see God's hand on me having given me exactly what I need for every situation, guiding me and teaching me in the midst of the rapid-fire pace of AMT. I think to myself that he got me this far, maybe he'll keep it up as the world keeps turning and new things keep getting laid out before me. Sometimes it's intimidating, sometimes it's super exciting, sometimes I'm too exhausted about thinking about it that I just need to give up and take a mental vacation.
Exactly two weeks from today I will be boarding a plane to return to the States after finishing my 3-month stay in Zambia. I've seen myself grow faster and faster in the two weeks leading up to today and I'm absolutely sure that this increased rate of growth will continue through these upcoming weeks. We're working on our final projects, we're preparing for our final expedition, and I'm going through the paperwork involved to commit to going on staff with Overland. The home stretch is here and we're trying to finish strong. Here we go.