Thursday, May 14, 2009


Last summer, a few months after we got back from Africa the second time, we were camping with Jason’s family. I was sitting outside crying a little and Paul (Jason’s dad) came up. Now Jason is not really very emotional, and he comes by it honestly (I however, need a good cry every few weeks). Paul asked me what was wrong and I told him that I was having a sad day, which probably seemed a little weird to him at the time. He asked me why, which seemed a little weird to me, don’t people just have sad days for no reason? (ok so maybe that’s just me…) I thought about it and realized that I was missing Africa. I tried to explain how I was missing Guinea-Bissau when I was finally with my family that I had been missing for the past 8 months. The only words I could really come up with were that my heart has two homes now and as long as I’m in one place my heart has times where it feels separated from the other.

There’s a weird dynamic that happens with missionaries. You have a home, and when you go to the new country where you work almost everything reminds you that that place is not your home. You feel awkward, and isolated, but you jump in. You learn the language, you meet the people and try to understand them, and slowly it starts to feel like home too. I remember praying everyday when we were in Guinea-Bissau that God would give my heart a home there; and sometime in the second trip, He did.

[As a little side note, I think it’s the same with heaven. Sometimes when things happen that I don’t understand (usually loss) I’m reminded vividly that I wasn’t made for this. My “home” here on earth is temporary and I’m so happy I’m made for the home that’s eternal. I think that most Christians have experienced that heart longing for the home that they were created for at one point or another.]

Jason and I just bought our plane tickets and we are headed back to Guinea-Bissau on June third. In so many ways I am excited to go back home and at the same time I’m deeply sad to be leaving. I am through and through a 100% homebody. I love being home. I like to take vacations to visit people I know (not new fun places); I like to eat dinner at home, to have people over, I love to be with my family (and my friends that have basically become my family) and I would always rather rent a movie and snuggle up with a blanket than go see one. Home… it’s a strange word when you think about what it means – the place where you belong, the place you know, the place that’s familiar, the place that has the people you love, the place you’re meant to be…

I guess I’m just processing my emotions a little bit. People have been asking me a lot a questions as they have been finding out that Jason and I are headed back:
“Oh Africa, so it’s really like a vacation, right?” (not quite)
“Are you scared because it’s so different?” (sometimes)
“Are you sad that you are going to miss some important things in America?” (yes)
“Do you miss your friends in Africa?” (yes)
“Are you ready?” (mostly, hehe)

The one question that really got me thinking was when someone asked me, “Why are you so excited to go somewhere that’s so hard and do something that you don’t know if you can do? Why don’t you just stay here and be normal?” I giggled a little, and then thought a lot. It’s hard to explain, but in many ways Guinea-Bissau is where my life is right now. The job that I have over there isn’t a job; it’s my purpose – maybe not for the rest of my life, but right now. The people that I’m helping and the lives that God is changing, that’s my point.

So we’re leaving, and I feel like part of me is complete again, my purpose is restored, and my life fits; but I also feel like part of me is missing – you, the people that have made me who I am, the places I know, the life that makes sense. As we head out please be praying for us, that God would protect our hearts, and that we would truly make our home where He is.