A few days before leaving for Saint Vincent at the close of my two-week Christmas trip in 2018 the whole family gathered at my brothers for dinner.
After the meal they surprised me with a VERY EARLY birthday cake (my birthday is in March) along with cards, and presents. It was a very sweet surprise, and a reminder how unique the missionary life is.
Missions definitely isn’t for the faint of heart. You have to leave family and friends, embrace a new culture, and live for an extended time away from home. At the same time it is indeed difficult for family members you leave behind as well.
By now my family has gotten pretty good at saying goodbye when I leave (tears are reserved for the ride home) but the heartache is still there.
Which is why I am so thankful for a family that supports my call to missions……
Though my being away for years at a time brings sadness, my family has fully embraced the uniqueness of the missionary life. They celebrate birthdays months early, rely on facetime videos and group chats instead of face to face conversation, and have always know the time-difference.
There are days occasionally when I miss home (thankfully not so often)
But on those days I find strength in a family who stands with me.
One response to “Celebrating My Birthday Early”
It is a blessing that you have made so many wonderful memories with your family. Being out of the country, living in a different culture, missing family events and so many other things can become a real challenge. Thank you for being faithful to the ministry and location where God called you. I often reflect on our years in South America and I know I would not exchange them for anything. God’s goodness is greater than anything we have “given up”. In reality, we have just turned it over to the Lord. God bless you John!!