On Family and Living Abroad

There’s a scene in the movie Forrest Gump when Forrest and Lt. Dan are out on the shrimp boat and Forrest gets a call saying that his mama is sick. Without thinking he jumps in the water, swims to shore and the next scene shows him running full sprint back to his childhood home where his mama tells him she’s dying.

As missionaries, Kathy and I have experienced this exact feeling several times. Kathy lost two dear sweet grandparents since we’ve lived overseas and I’ve come back to sit with my brother and now my grandma as they’ve battled major illnesses and surgery and spent weeks in ICU. We feel so far away and all we want to do is jump in the water and swim home.

On Thursday when I found out my Nana had complications from lung surgery and was in the ICU, I struggled with the decision of whether or not to go. I knew that I wanted to be with her and be with my mom, but I couldn’t help thinking that if she got better then I didn’t need to have come.

This is one of the hardest parts for us as missionaries. We beat ourselves up for wanting to come home to be with family because of a lack of finances or we might feel we should be stronger. We worry that the work we’re doing will stop if we leave it to go be with our family.

For me this is the wrong attitude to have. I’m so glad to have gotten to spend this time with my mom and grandma. Whether you live and work in your home country or overseas, we live in a world that is more connected than ever before. Travel is less expensive and more accessible.

Praise God that my grandma is recovering. In the three days I’ve been here, she has made huge steps. We are grateful for your continued prayers for Nana.