"I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord ..." I sang this song often as a teenager and I meant it from the bottom of my heart. But having grown up first as a pastor's kid and then as a missionary's kid, I found my longings turning towards "home" as I approached college age. Deep down I dreamed of owning a little house in a small town somewhere. I wanted the nice comfortable porch, the white picket fence and the works! I figured I had done enough moving in my life!
Today as I look back at those fleeting thoughts, I have to laugh! Upon marrying a fellow missionary kid, it seems I signed up for a lifetime of wandering. In 14 years of marriage we are currently living in our 3rd country, our 9th city and our 12th house.
OK, so we aren't the most deeply rooted people in the world, but I must say that our life has NOT been boring.
Just over a year ago, my family and I moved to the country of Mozambique as missionaries. Thankfully, from our previous missions experience, my husband, Mark, and I already spoke Portuguese, which is the national language here.
Mark is the "go getter", "jump in with both feet", "MacGyver", "take life by the tail and swing it" kind of guy. The first weekend we were in the country he was already preaching at a youth rally. He is involved in everything from teaching Bible to teenagers in the American school, to teaching courses at the Bible College. He does Health and AIDS awareness seminars in churches and public schools. But his favorite thing of all to do is to travel on weekends to villages (the more remote the better) to show the Jesus film and encourage small local churches. He thrives on the cultural challenges and is proud to say, "I may be white on the outside, but my heart is African!"
As for me, after just over a year here, I finally feel like I'm finding my niche. With three small children I am rather restricted in my involvement in some ministries. My priority is still gladly with them. I realize that before I know it they will be grown up and gone. But my youngest started Grade One this year! So, I have found myself getting more involved in our Christian Education Department, doing some weekday teaching at seminars for Sunday School Teachers, as well as office work for our missionaries. I teach Bible and Music at my children's school and I am really enjoying that opportunity. I also coordinate and run our child sponsorship program linking Mozambican children to Canadian sponsors.
We are good examples of how true it is that God uses every different personality type that is made available to him to accomplish His will. In our own way, we all have something to offer.
I love what we do. There is nothing more comforting then to know we are where God wants us to be. When we all get to heaven, you'll have to come visit me. I won't be hard to find. My mansion will be the little one with the nice, comfortable porch and the white picket fence!
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Donna, what a refreshing and amazing read. When we are in heaven I'll look for that house with the white picket fence. I'll come and knock on your door and we'll go for a walk along the winding and golden streets. In fact, I'll take you to my little house with the hunter green door. You can step in for coffee and cake. "I'll go" if you will. :)
Donna, I think you are well rooted - in Jesus the Rock! It was a pleasure to get to know you better. You may have longed for the picket fence bit, but the fact that you obeyed the Lord, inspite of how you may have felt - speaks volumns of where your heart lies. I really believe that obedience to the Lord is one of the hallmarks of a true Christian. May God continue to bless you and your family...lots!
Donna your article was just amazing and encouraging for me . My husband and I have been in missions for just 1.5 years now. We are childless and so I think we get dumped with more work than the others! Your article just encourages me to pay attention to family needs. I think you are a very courageous woman to go with your family and live in and love another nation for the sake of the gospel.It kind of reminds me of our own Graham and Gladys Staines. thank you so much for sharing.
What an ecciting life! I am so glad to read that in the middle of so much your children are no 1 priority.
I guess my wife and I are at the other end of the scale having just said our "see you later," to our son along with his wife and year old daughter, who are off to the Philippines as missionaries for a further three years (DV).
We have learned that "see you later" comes out easier than than goodbye.
But as you say the best place for anyone is the centre of God's will. Davy
Wonderful article Donna! Now did you REALLY expect to be happy in picket-fenced, small-town bungalow? It sounds like you're in the perfect place for you, with the gifts to give us all a taste of it! Wish I could visit you NOW! ~ Violet
Donna, as always, the life of your family is such an inspiration. As I read your wonderful Challenge contribution, I did stumble on one thing - where you said that your family may not be the most deeply rooted family in the world. As far as one particular place to call home, perhaps. But in faith and family, I truly believe you have roots that go deeper than just about anyone else I know! God bless you as you continue to shine for His glory! With love always, Deb