Mt. Kinabalu

Mt. Kinabalu

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Important News

This news has been coming down the line for awhile but I finally feel confident sharing publicly.  With a heavy heart I announce to my blog audience that YAGM Malaysia's program will be ending early this year.  Over the course of our YAGM year the visa situation has changed much more rapidly than we could have prepared for and after our Hong Kong retreat several YAGMs had issues returning to Malaysia.  Please know our safety has never been at risk and the decision to end the program early was made with our best interest at heart.  Our final day in country will be May 12th, after which we will hold our closing retreat in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  While it breaks my heart to be leaving Malaysia early, I have been given the incredible opportunity to serve one more month in Medan, Indonesia.  I will likely be teaching English again and am excited for the opportunity to learn and serve in Southeast Asia a while longer.  After some time traveling along my way home, I will return to the United States on July 16th. 

While this decision certainly comes with a lot of heartbreak, it does not take away from the joy and blessings of this year in my life.  My infinitely wise mother in response to my panicked tears of grief asked me, "How much time is ever enough?"  It is a question I have spent considerable time thinking about and has given me immense comfort in this difficult time.  This journey is ending faster than I had planned but that doesn't mean it wasn't everything it was meant to be.  Perhaps as I have felt time being ripped from my grasp I have learned to treasure daily moments more deeply.  Time is a funny thing, and as William Blake's, "Auguries of Innocence" describes, sometimes an eternity can fit into an hour.  As I continue to discover what this year means for my story I am excited to see how the eternities I have lived here and the eternities awaiting me at home will create new ideas and opportunities. 

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
-William Blake 

Please send prayers as we enjoy our final time in our communities and say our goodbyes to a place that has been home and people who have been family for the past year.

Please see the letter below from our program director for a more descriptive explanation of this difficult decision.  It is very much worth reading.

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