Thursday, February 6, 2014

Delightful Deputation (Part 4) The Friendships

Delightful Deputation (Part 1) The Focus
Delightful Deputation (Part 2) The Family
Delightful Deputation (Part 3) The Fun

Maybe your definition of deputation is:

That time period when a missionary or missionary family
leaves family and friends behind for a long, lonely road trip.
If that is the case, let me introduce you to Linda.

No, not that Linda! That's my sweet Mommy! While we were on the road for deputation, we rarely got to see her. Oh, she would have travelled with us if she could!

This is the Linda I am talking about. The one in the green shirt. From the moment I met her, I loved her dearly. You see, I needed a Mommy hug, and my mom wasn't able to be there to give it to me. Not necessarily a physical hug, but that gentle love, acceptance, and warmth that only a mom, or those with a mommy heart, can give. God knew I needed that along the way, so He allowed our paths to cross.

Mrs. Linda is the pastor's wife at one of our supporting churches. That's right. Pastor's wife. The one we missionary women feel we have to be on our "best behavior" for. We put such pressure on ourselves in hopes they will like us and approve. I purposed from the beginning in deputation that I wasn't at these churches to make people like me, but often the pressure was still there.

Not with Mrs. Linda, though. I fell in love with her and her family immediately. No pressure. They loved us. They allowed us to be ourselves and to be human. Oh, how I treasured sitting down with her and her husband while we played instruments! I got to play her dulcimer. It was the first time I had ever played one. She even invited me to play the special music with her in the next service!

No, Mrs. Linda didn't replace my mom, but she sure made me feel loved and treasured. She helped me push on a little farther on the road. I can honestly say that her face is one that I look forward to seeing when we go on furlough.

And this is my Granny. (Isn't she precious?) She couldn't go with me on the road either. I really miss her.

But the lady in the background of this picture in the blue shirt is Mrs. Alice Burge. When I am around her, I feel like I could just crawl up in her lap and talk to her like a little child talks to her grandmother. Mrs. Alice is the wife of our mission board's president. Again, she cannot replace Granny, but Mrs. Burge sure knows how to dote on a person needing to be smothered in grandmotherly love.

The children missed grandparents, too, and God met their needs.

When I missed my best friend Glenda (oh, how I missed her on deputation!)...

God provided Felicia to be that friend I could sit down with and talk face to face. Glenda would have dropped everything and come running if she could. She has done that many times in my life, but I couldn't exactly say, "Glenda, I need a hug. Can you drive 500 miles to give me one?" But God knit our family's hearts with Felicia's family instantly. How blessed we are to have met them!

Even when the children missed their pets, God provided, again. On one long drive to our next destination, the children simultaniously began crying that they missed Jetta (dog) and Snickers (cat.) We comforted them the best we could, but all we could do was cry out to God for Him to help them as their tears flowed. Then we pulled up to the house where we were staying. Out popped several little kittens and a dog! My children immediately felt God's hand swoop down upon them! They KNEW this was His doing!

After all, He keeps His promises, doesn't He?

Luke 18:29-30 "And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting."
Our family now has homes across several states and in Canada that gladly would open their doors to us. We have mothers, fathers, grandmothers, pets, and friends all over the world. We would have never met them had we not been willing to say goodbye to friends and family back home.
And it was easier to spot them when I tried to be myself. When I was... real.  When I realized that not everyone is going to "like" us and that it was OK! God knit our hearts with our supporting churches. That's what we wanted most... more than money. We wanted a supporting church FAMILY. We needed people who would care about us personally and would faithfully pray for us. We didn't want financial investors... we wanted fathers, mothers, grandparents, children, and friends willing to invest more than just money, but love, time, and prayer.
So now we can add to our definition of deputation:

Pre-field Ministry

An Opportunity to Grow Closer as a Family

An Opportunity for Education, Exploration, and Adventure

And Now...

Time to Meet the Supporting Church FAMILY and Bond

To Be Continued...
Coming up...
By Charity, Southern Asia

1 comment:

Rosa B. said...

Very true again! We've been on deputation for 15 months, and looking back, we've met so many wonderful people that we may not have met otherwise! Our boys have made some great little friends as well.