The Hardest Part of Missions
Awhile ago, someone asked me what the hardest part of being a missionary was. I said it was all the differences: different language, different culture, but mostly difference in poverty.
In the USA, I had to work hard to find it, it was like we hid poverty in corners and in “the bad part of town.” But in Brazil it was everywhere, always in my face, always a part of reality. It was uncomfortable.
Not only that- but I was different. I would always stand out and be the one who wasn’t normal. All the different wore on me day and night. And it was hard. It made me ask hard questions and never be able to return to the comfortable. The normal.
Leaving never started off hard for me. I was single and ready to go. It was an adventure. I was the one leaving, not being left.
But then I had kids. And now my decisions to leave affect them and their whole lives. And roots and long friendships are more of a priority for me now. Leaving quickly became the new hardest part of being a missionary.
I’ve had a couple of really close people leave since serving in Brazil (looking at you Soares and Turners). But it was part of what we signed up for- and we knew they were coming eventually.
But I didn’t think I’d have to deal with this: our closest Brazilian friends in the ministry are leaving. I know why- I am excited about it and happy for it and I see clearly that this is a good thing and the right direction...but I don’t want to be left.
I don’t want one of my best friends, my pastor, and work partners and my daughter’s best friend to go. It is hard to say goodbye. I hadn’t planned on this one.