Saturday, September 16, 2023


After eleven and a half years, its time for me to go. I'm leaving my organization - in fact, Monday is my last day. I'm tired and I'm grateful. Things were not perfect, but no organization is. 
Family visit, Uganda

I could stay. In fact, there are plenty who would like me to stay. But its time. Change is hard, but it's needed. I believe I've done all I want to do in this organization, and its time for me to try my hand elsewhere. If I'm most honest, I feel used up and beat up by a relentless pace I've given absolutely everything to try to keep up with.  

I'm going to another NGO, this one focused on work with refugees around the world. I'll still be working in safeguarding, working to protect vulnerable people from abuse, neglect and exploitation. 

I've had some amazing experiences in this  organization. I've travelled to work in 26 (I think?) countries, many multiple times. I've met amazing people, seen things that have broken my heart over and over, laughed until I couldn't breathe, sobbed until I couldn't see, learned, grew and loved. 
Tough family visit along the Thai-Myanmar border
I've held hands with children and adults, had impromptu salon sessions from tiny people who couldn't get enough of my very-different-hair, been cried on, scared small people who couldn't understand why I looked the way I do, colored, made necklaces, played soccer, volleyball and liga-liga, sat in homes, drank endless cups of tea, listened to stories, watched dramas and dances, prayed, preached, trained, facilitated, walked through neighborhoods, slogged up hills, waded through sewage, and ridden in about every form of transportation on wheels, wings or rudders. 

I wore the same three outfits everywhere I went (did you notice a theme in my wardrobe in my last post?) I've been given incredibly generous gifts by people who insisted on hospitality, some of the most memorable including 18 eggs, a hand woven basket, a bag of groundnuts, and a moment where I thought someone was giving me a pair of goats (and fortunately, I was wrong). 
Shaby and I, Sri Lanka

I've seen incredible darkness and met people who bring incredible light. The people are the hardest part of leaving - I truly love my colleagues and have the highest respect for them. I struggle with leaving the team I lead - we've built a close and trusting working relationship, and walking away from that feels like I am abandoning the trenches. I fear I'm giving up, stopping away before the work is finished. I feel some guilt.

I am seeking new learning, new opportunities, new challenges. I'm chasing better balance. I'm hoping I can do "it" again. I worry about being an imposter. 

Regardless, its going to be a new adventure.

Let's go. 

Talking with Samson, Ghana
Esther and I, Togo


  1. Never an imposter. You will be salt and light wherever God leads you. I love you, Friend. and am excited to see all that God has in store for you.

  2. Replies
    1. You are the best C Zolman, and I love you right back!