There are so many things a missionary has to think about before moving to the other side of the world so I thought I would just share some. People ask us a lot of questions as we prepare to leave for Thailand in April. I am hoping this post will help clarify some and maybe even encourage and motivate others to step out and trust God with their future! He doesn’t call us to live a life of earthly pleasures and riches …but rather he tells us where the true riches are really found.
After being on deputation for 2 years, I am pretty used to packing! Haha! I don’t dread it quite like I used to. Its just what I have to do and that’s that. But, there’s something different about packing up your entire house never to see it again. Leaving some belongings behind, getting rid of some, and taking some with us. Our home will never be the same again. All of our belongings will be scattered around the world, literally. I don’t really feel attached to our “stuff” since we aren’t really home all that much anyway, but when I think about never coming home to this house and this stuff, it seems odd. It is the only house and stuff our little family has ever had and I guess we are just used to it. It won’t necessarily be the house I miss, just the familiar. Everything in our life is about to change. Everything. But my God is worth more than a house.
We’ve been married for just over 3 years and we haven’t had to sell stuff or move to a different house. My husband has done an amazing job at keeping some familiar and steadiness to our already chaotic lives on the road. I am thankful for his thoughtfulness and for not moving us around. But the time has come where we have to think about what to do with our stuff, what to store here, and what we need to take with us to Thailand. I have been asking every missionary I can what they have done and recommend. I am thankful for those who have helped us figure out some of those things. Now its time to put the planning and talk into action. But my God is worth more than “stuff.”
I always imagined leaving family would be hard. But when those last goodbyes come, there is no way to express the difficulty and hurt that comes with it. I’ve always missed it when I don’t get to see them but now I won’t get to see them for years at a time. I miss them even now and I have no idea when it will be when I get to see them again. It’s harder than I imagined yet I don’t regret for one second saying yes to following God and my husband. My God is worth more than family.
We are pretty used to traveling by now, even our 7 month old daughter! But by no means am I looking forward to 30 hours of traveling from here to there. That’s a lot of traveling! Not to mention I have to keep my kid comfortable and as quiet as possible so people don’t throw things at me and give me evil looks! 🙂 My God is worth more than being comfortable.
Learning to get around
All of the sudden I am going to find myself in a different culture. How do we find a place to live? Where do we get groceries? What if I get lost? These are just a few questions that run through my head when I think of arriving in Bangkok, Thailand. They aren’t even scary questions until I realize that I can’t speak the language yet! That adds a nice little spin to everything we think about as we plan, pack, and move. My God is worth more than knowing all the details.
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I could keep listing more things that I think about on a regular basis but this post is already too long:) Some would include; looking for and setting up a house, language school, finding someone to watch Claire during language school, culture shock and everything that goes along with it. But all those things are temporal things and not worth all the worry. God has promised us another home. An enduring one throughout the ages…and living like this between two worlds makes it seem like we are strangers and pilgrims in this land. But is it a bad thing to feel like what God has described us to be?
I’ll be honest, I’m not excited about the hardships of missionary life, but my hope is not in this life. I am looking to a better house, a bigger family, a perfect knowledge, a faultless culture, and a time where we will all praise him in our own tongue. And that will be a place we will never have to leave.
Luke 18:29-30 – And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.