The Miss of Missionary

Our goodbyes were said an ocean away. The plane had arrived at Johannesburg airport. God had thus far fulfilled His plans for us.

A few hours later, shivering under the blankets in Polokwane, SA sleep came easily until the dream…
Such a vivid dream of my mom and grandmother driving around in my mom’s purple PT Cruiser. It was if I could reach out my hand and touch them. I awoke and quiet tears began to flow. Across the room on his bed Doug heard the sniffles I tried to conceal. He joined me, our bodies much too big for the small twin bed. But he stayed, holding me as my heart stirred with many emotions.
It is only fitting that the word “missionary” begins with “miss.”
We miss our family, friends and familiar surroundings. We miss Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Mexican restaurants on the corner and the smell of the Buzz Coffee Shop.
Two years later I find myself once again shivering under many blankets but this time on an air mattress in our tent. We are on a missions outreach in Tshikota, SA. Doug wraps his arms around me in an effort to help keep me warm. There are no vivid dreams of family members. No tears.
My heart is still stirring with emotions…two years with many valleys and few hills, lessons learned and much to share and ponder as we return to the states in August for ten weeks.
Then a new “missing” will begin. We will miss our South African friends, our dog Molly and our now familiar surroundings. We will miss chakalaka on pap, boerewors on the braai and the smell of spices at the Nirvana supermarket.

There is a quote that says home is where your heart is. I’m not quite sure how that works for a missionary when our hearts can be in different places at once. So home must be where I am for the moment…

1 thought on “The Miss of Missionary”

  1. Thanks for this very true post! We are presently missionaries in Kenya who are preparing to return to the US after two years (almost) here with our three children. Missing is sometimes a very large part of the missionary experience. (Kids miss the dog, the neighborhood friends and Walmart – of all things!) I like your quote – “home is where I am for the moment.” For me it is “home is where my husband is.” It sounds like that is the same for you too. A tent… a mission station… USA… Africa. God bless you in and for your work for Him. It will be so wonderful to be a part of the “every tribe and tongue” part of heaven!

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