As the time to leave for Africa draws near, I am usually filled with anticipation and excitement. I long to walk again on the African soil, and to embrace friendships that extend beyond cultural and language barriers. This year, these emotions are coupled with some sadness and concern. Jorjanne has not been feeling well for the past couple of weeks, and it is difficult leaving knowing that she’s not 100%. This is also the first time Jeff and I will be apart for an extended period of time. While the old saying may be true that distance makes the heart grow fonder, it also causes this ole’ hard some sadness in being apart.
As I prepare to leave, I keep thinking about those who leave their families and friends for much longer…the sacrifices they make…all for the sake of the gospel.
We applaud others for going and promise to pray for them, but do we really get the sacrifice? Do we realize the emotional storms they will face as they seek to fit into a culture not their own? I am not speaking of myself here, but of those who move their families away from all the comforts of home for years — those who live between worlds — not fitting in the new culture, but also feeling like a stranger in the old.
Scripture teaches that this world is not our home; one day we will truly be home and there will be no more goodbyes. Perhaps the goodbyes are what makes this so challenging for me. While I must say “See you later,” to my family in order to say hello to my raffikis in Africa, I will soon say “Kwa heri” to them in order to embrace my family. What a glorious day it will be when we are all able to gather together in worship to the King, no longer separated by the boundaries of this world. What a day that will be!
In the meantime, we covet your prayers!