A Moment in Our Minds...
Being a missionary is hard work!
I'm sure most people can imagine to some extent what our lives may endure, although the things we automatically think of as the most difficult parts, only begin to scratch the surface of the reality missionary life brings. Arriving back in Kenya last week after a short break back to the UK has brought to surface many emotions. You see, we actually now have two homes, and whilst being at one means we are far from the other. I regularly get the impression that we will never feel quite at home again. It's just, our hearts will always be elsewhere. I suppose that is the price you pay for the love that goes with serving and knowing people in more than one place! For whatever multitude of reasons we have been presently called to be a missionary family here in Kenya. We know we are in another season of doing what is right, not what is easy.
Two years ago, God made it very clear to us that we must follow where He leads, and that meant Africa. Joyfully we sold and gave away many of our possessions that we had accumulated over the years. We travelled, we journeyed, and we made our way from South Africa to the East. With a slight detour, we found ourselves in Kenya. So much has happened since the day we arrived. So much of what we have faced is incomprehensible and the rest somehow is impossible to disclose. It is difficult to mention or count the lessons we have learnt on this path. Are we even the same people we used to be? I wonder, do our loved ones still even recognise us? Sometimes, I feel myself to be unfamiliar. I guess, what doesn't challenge you, doesn't change you? Is this what it is to be moulded?
As time goes on and we continue to live oversees as missionaries, the most challenging thing for me seems to be watching others move on without you. I mean, I completely am aware we were the ones that moved. I understand that we are chasing the lead God has for us and it is far from our other home. We have often been blamed for living in a distant far off land, whilst our friends and family are still back home living their lives. The truth is, those are the lives that we still long to be a part of. Its missing birthdays, Christmas, engagements, weddings and the birth off your sister's or best friend’s child. It’s missing church events, family meals and not being there when someone you love is going through a storm, or a time worth celebrating. It’s missing the ability to make memories with those you care for, and the feelings you have when you listen to the memories you weren’t a part of.
It is difficult to even acknowledge, or discuss all the challenges that we face here. It is obvious that the blessings in our lives far outweigh the bad things. I suppose, we just are in the middle of another lesson, a lesson learning how to understand and deal with the weight of sacrifice. In Christ alone, my hope is found.
This morning I turned the pages in my bible and I read the words from Nehemiah 8 verse 10, 'The joy of the Lord s your strength.' You know, I am learning again and again to refuse to see trials and challenges as anything less than another opportunity to see my Father.
Each morning, it is my determination to be able to say, ‘It has been rough at times, but my God is also my Father and He is bigger than any mountain or giant we may face. I am His daughter after all and I am highly favoured, and because of this, I choose joy.’