I think this will be my last entry for a while about struggles that this missionary goes through. I hope that this has helped you see that we are normal just like you. I also hope it will help you know how to better pray for us and other missionaries around the world. I know earlier I said these weren't in any particular order but this one has got to be the biggest struggle of all. Enjoy!
Struggle 7: When we are in the states going around and speaking in churches people often comment about how much we sacrifice as missionaries. To be honest, many missionaries do have to make many sacrifices but I feel like there is only one sacrifice that we have made and that is being away from our families. Anytime there is a special event or a get together we are missing out on it. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthdays, dance recitals, gymnastics competitions, etc. just to mention a few. We are called to be here in Zambia but it sure is hard to miss out on times with family. I believe our families sacrifice a lot too by us being here. They have to miss out on seeing their children and grandchildren. They missed out on hearing their grandchildren read their first books, watching them learn to ride a bike, etc. This term we will be on the field for 4 1/2 years before we go home. Can you imagine how much our children will have changed in that amount of time? Zach will be 18, Justin 15, and Hannah will be 9. That makes me sad just writing it down.
It is tough too when someone in your family is sick and you can't be there to help. Like this term when my mom was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer. Everyday I had to pray and give her to God because I was just worrying too much. I couldn't see her or touch her to know that things were ok. Yeah, internet helps to stay in touch and I am thankful for that but at times like that you just want to be near them. During that time God really taught me about trusting in Him and He showed me that He loved my mom even more than I did. I knew that whatever happened it was part of God's plan.
This past Aug. Zach started going to a boarding school in Kenya. This has been a struggle for us too even though we know we are doing what we should in this situation. I better not talk about this one too much or I won't be able to keep writing. So, this last struggle that I talk about is just being away from family whether it be on this continent or across the sea. I'm sure every missionary would say this is a struggle that they face. So pray for missionaries that you know, especially during the holidays and special events that you know of that is going on in their families that they may be missing out on. Love your families and enjoy the moments you get to spend with one another. Don't take each other for granted.