Thursday morning I finished reading “A Tribute to Mothers Who Send their Children Into Missions” by Lori McDaniel, and sent the link to my parents with tears in my eyes. The entire article is excellent, but one paragraph spoke to me in a special way.
A mother of a missionary celebrates with her extended family during holidays, but she can’t wait to snuggle up with technology when that video call comes from her child overseas—even if it means she must patiently hit “call again” as “no connection” repeatedly appears on her screen.
There are moments of homesickness or loneliness in Barrouaillie, but missionaries, friends, and countless children who shout “Mr. John!” mean those moments don’t come very often. Though part of me will always miss mom and dad the strong relationships on the mission field are used by God to fill the void of being away from family…so it’s easy to think sometimes other relationships will fill that same void in my parent’s life.
But it doesn’t
The truth is we missionaries (Including myself) often get so wrapped up in the busyness of daily ministry that we forget about the emotional pain of those still at home. Yes God gives grace, yes it is a sacrifice they make willingly, yes they are incredibly proud…but it still hurts sometimes.
Thinking about Mothers day and Thursdays article reminded me of the morning I accepted the call to full-time missions. The Lord had been dealing with me for months (I was too scared to go), but after a veteran missionary, Chick Watkins preached from the last book of John there was no more running.
As I knelt at the altar my mother came down and put her arm around me. She thanked the Lord for my obedience to His will and gave me over to a life of missions. In that moment I didn’t realize the worries, concerns, and questions that were going through her mind, but they didn’t keep her from obeying God’s Will for my life.
Today she rejoices in the Lords work through my life and every morning texts to ask how my “fur babies” (puppy and cat) are. But its necessary to remember those texts and brief video chats can never take the place of actually being there.
There are still moments of concern, worry, or even heartache. It’s in those moments she remembers that prayer many years ago, and once again lays me upon the altar.
The kind of sacrifice that is precious in the eyes of God