Your host country may be beautiful and the people hospitable and warm...but. it is not your passport country. Things will always be different. Not always wrong. Different. You will always be the foreigner. For me..."Amerikane, Kristi, Kristina, Teta, Kristali....but hardly ever my given name "Krystal" and my last name...well that is only important on my passport and residency permit.
It's true that we have things so much easier in regards to faster travel, the blessings of the internet (most days), and now nice grocery stores. We are very blessed to have many things that make life easier than in years past. But the fact remains, we do have miles of ocean (and 6 hour time difference) that separate us from precious family and friends.
Thankfully, those days pass and God gives us strength to press on. Then you can have moments when you look around the room as new Christians are learning, growing in their faith, and praying for each other. Times when you just know that the kids are understanding the Bible truth for that lesson and you are so thankful. Times when someone says, "Prayer really works! God listened and answered!" When an 11 year old little girl can not wait for the Memory Verse Challenge to restart. Those moments. Those moments make it worth it. Those moments, those glimpses of the people we have invested years into, those changed lives...make it worth it. It's still hard to miss so much, to know the "price" that our families also pay. But it's moments like tonight, seeing the little Roma church plant's roots going deeper as its people grow and live out their faith in difficult circumstances. We know that Jesus is at work and changing hearts. He is worth it!
Is it worth it? Yes.
Is is hard? Oh my! Yes!
Is it possible in our own strength? No way!
"I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:13 NIV