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Jewel in Cambodia Scarves for Cambodia Journals for the Journey

Friday, June 04, 2010

The Big Question: What's the hardest part about being a missionary?

I can’t believe she’s already one month old!
My beautiful niece, Mallory Jo::

In other news...
Tommy Shields, an elderly man from my church [whom I adored,] passed away May 22nd. He had aggressive lung cancer and was at home when I left on May 6th. Though I had hope, I expected that he would die while I was away, but I regret that I didn’t make visiting him a priority before I left. In the business of my preparations, I thought about Tom, but I never drove across town to see him. Now I have missed his visitation and funeral. It’s hard to grieve alone, so far from home.

I have been asked, 'What's the hardest part about being a missionary?' It isn't the language barrier, the danger or sickness, cultural differences, or being the only American. The hardest part isn't going, it's leaving - leaving behind family and friends - and knowing that there will be life and death, and I can't experience that joy and grief with them.

One of the tsanga songs I learned here goes something like:
Even if my parents leave me, Jesus is still treating me well
Even if my children leave me, Jesus is still treating me well
Even if my health leaves me, Jesus is still treating me well
Even if my goats leave me, Jesus is still treating me well
And so it continues...
With this trip, I am having to learn in a whole new way that even if all these things happen, Jesus is still treating me well.
My bread is all gone, but God will provide.
Satan is attacking, but Jesus is stronger.
I am the only one in the house, but the Holy Spirit is here.
There is no one to talk to, but He is still only a prayer away.


Jessie said...

Yes, being away is difficult but you're in our prayers. I know i'm in yours... so it makes things feel better.

sara said...

I am just getting caught up since my trip.....Jewel, I am praying for you!! God is treating you well and he is blessing your obedience to go where He has called matter how hard!!! Praying you feel His presence in an all new way today!!