Even when we don’t say it out loud, it’s easy for us missionaries to think about how hard being a missionary is. We talk about all the sacrifices we’ve made from the serious (cultural adjustment, distance from friends and family, etc.) to the trivial…but still very serious (yes, I am talking about Reese’s peanut butter cups and the ability to flush toilet paper).
But there is also a deep joy to missionary life: depending on Jesus in new ways and seeing God’s mercy and faithfulness anew. Even during the hard times, there is deep beauty in missionary life. And sometimes, there are blessings that come through partners from the US. Last week we got a real treat, the Church at Charlotte sent a short-term team to serve the ReachGlobal missionaries here by hosting a missionary care conference.
For us, it has been a stressful few months. We’ve adjusted to a new baby, dealt with family illnesses and loss, navigated the public and private health systems here, dealt with seemingly endless bureaucracy, had car troubles which left us stranded on more than one occasion, experienced our first car accident in Costa Rica, just to mention a few of our stressors on top of regular ministry stress and living cross culturally! So this conference refreshed our souls.
Oh what a joy to hear sermons in English, to worship in English (seriously I am SO good at speaking English!) and to just relax and play. Church at Charlotte lavished us with love and gifts (hello, peanut butter cups!) and our kids are now convinced that Charlotte is a magical land of English speaking kids, toys, and Trader Joe’s snacks. Thank you, Church at Charlotte for loving us well. We saw, and felt, your love and faith for the Lord Jesus last week.
I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.