Monday, February 26, 2007

The Missionary Experience

Never, ever let anyone tell you this is easy. Never let anyone say that to be a missionary is exotic or in any way glorious. That statement couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s hard. It’s like someone taking their fingernails to a chalkboard. There are experiences you can never truly prepare for, and punches that are hard to take.

Last night, I was sleeping in the back of Lami church, and for whatever reason, the cockroaches decided they were going to spend the night with me. I killed about 20 or 30 of them before I went to bed, but that was maybe half of them. Maybe. All throughout the night, I would feel something crawling over me, smack it (to a rather disgusting crunching sound) and go back to sleep. When I woke up this morning, I had a few bites… not the best night I’ve ever had.

I had all day to prepare for the Bible study this evening. So I decided right around noon that I would hope into Suva, eat some lunch, and get on the internet. What I wouldn’t do to be back home in the comfort of friends and family. Distance begins to take it’s toll when you are attempting to retain the relationships you have formed, and the depth that you delved to prior begins to show it’s worth when the well starts to dry up. Six months apart from Jordan takes its toll on a relationship. One month apart from family and you start to feel separated. Neither are particularly long periods of time in the grand scheme of things, but seem like eternity in the present.

But there are beacons of hope. I have to remind myself that I am still exactly where God wants me to be. I am experiencing what He has planned, and going through what He wants. None of it is easy, but He never said it would be easy, did He? But these trials, these deep chasms filled with rays of light are the things that build character. They build the well and solidify the rock underneath your feet, so that the storms of life don’t seem so bad.

Keep your head up, soldier. Zion is just over the crest of that next hill. March, because that’s the only way we’re ever going to get there.

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