Before I say anything else let me say that I am writing this not from the perspective of a missionary family in need of proper care and feeding, I am putting this down because of the amazing people in our life who have stepped up in the past few weeks to rally around us and help. These two years have been tough, complicated and emotional for us. Yes, looking back we would agree that they have been the best two years of our lives, we have been a part of rescuing more than 30 children, and have had a chance to get to know one of the most beautiful cultures in the world, we would not trade the experiences for anything. When given the option we are first in line to continue on in helping the orphans of Ethiopia. But we also know that without the friends who have stepped up and helped during this time, especially in the past months when things got really tough, I am sure that we would have given up a long time ago.
What I want to write to you about today is the incredible need that missionary families have for people back home to rally around and help get them through. I say this because before we actually lived this life I had no idea, I guess I had not even really thought of what it took to live in a developing country, I thought that some people were just cut out for it and that they loved what they did so I had nothing I could do to help. Yes many missionaries do love the places they live, and have learned to enjoy the cultures that they are choosing to help, but I cannot even begin to explain the challenges that come with the territory.
A few days ago we sat down with some friends who are missionaries in Ethiopia and heard a bit about the day they had been having, just the past 12 hours had brought on horrible sickness, employees who needed to be removed by the police, children who were struggling with the pressure of sharing their parents and long taxi rides across town smashed in with stinky body odor, mentally challenged kids coming through their doors and needing more help than anyone can imagine. I could go on for an hour here… Its endless.
I want to encourage you today to adopt a missionary, to step out and ask the questions that are a bit uncomfortable and see how they are doing, and what you can do to help. If you don’t have a missionary family, its not hard to find one, nearly every country in the world has hundreds of them, and trust me when I say there are lots of ways for you to help them.
There really is untold need across the world, and you can play a major part of filling those needs by helping a missionary with the work that they do.
Today we are more than thankful for the wonderful people in our lives who have helped us out in so many creative ways. Just a few weeks ago we were on the phone with Steve Gregor, our good friend back in the states who along with his church body have adopted our family and he asked the hard questions, he pushed us in areas that we had not been pushed and encouraged us to open up and be honest about where we were emotionally. What we learned about ourselves from this one simple gesture of him asking how things are going, is that we were deep down tired and emotionally drained. It was just that no one had taken the time to ask and we were not letting ourselves admit it.
Today we begin the process of furlough, something that we have never done before and to be honest had never even considered, but I can tell you that now that we finally took the advice and admitted that we were worn thin to the point of cracking, we realized that this is something that we need.
Who are you adopting today? Do you have a missionary family that you are asking the uncomfortable questions to?