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...
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.