Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Coming and Going

As missionaries we see a lot of people come and go in and out of Zambia.  Some are volunteers that come for a couple of weeks and then leave.  Other times we have people come for a couple of years and then when their term is up they head back to the states.  Then we have those who come and invest there lives here in Zambia and stay a long time.  So there is quite the spectrum of people coming and going.  Without fail we always get attached to these people so it is always difficult when they have to leave.  So as you can imagine we don't always enjoy going to the airport because a lot of times it is to say good-bye.  Especially when our boys were leaving to go to Kenya for school-those were the worst days!  Anyway, I wanted to write about a particular time that is especially special for missionaries and one that I got to experience recently at the airport.  We were at the airport welcoming back some of our friends/missionaries who had been on their stateside assignment and were returning to Zambia.  Before they came through the doors some other friends of ours were having their families from the states come on the same flight.  As we are all waiting outside the door you can feel the excitement grow as you know their family is about to walk through the door.  They haven't seen their family in almost two years.  Our friends child was about 11 months when they first came and is now almost 3.  So these grandparents had not seen their grandchild in two years.  Can you imagine??  I'll never forget seeing my friends mother come through that door and her and her daughter hugging and crying for a long time not wanting to let go of each other.  It was simply beautiful.  For those who know me know that I was crying right along with them.  I could feel all the emotion in that moment.  Many people think that as missionaries we sacrifice a lot by living in another country.  We love where we live and feel blessed to have the opportunity to live in another country.  The biggest sacrifice on us is that we do not get to see our families much.  We are so thankful for skype and good enough internet that we can at least talk to them and see them from time to time that way.  But to be able to be face to face and be able to hug and reconnect has got to be amazing.  It is also a sacrifice for our families back in the states to not see us or be a part of their grandkids lives like I know they would like to.  Today would you please pray for missionaries all over the world who are separated from their families in the states for long periods of time. 
II Chronicles 16:9 LB “the eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.”

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