Leaving the field

Ten years ago today we left. Raouf had preceded us on this journey, so I was alone with my two boys and an unruly Egyptian dog. We almost didn’t make it out, but in the end, they let us on the plane, dog and all.

We said goodbye to Egypt, but we also said goodbye to twenty years of overseas service. We were leaving the field.

The next few months would be a whirlwind of activity — getting a house ready, registering children for school, buying school supplies, unpacking a container of household goods, and adjusting to life in America.

Then I blinked.

Ten years has passed.

I haven’t lived anywhere for ten years straight since childhood, and now I’ve spent half of my total missions career in the United States. That’s a weird feeling, and kind of depressing.

When I talk to groups about missions, I talk about the past, but I am learning that missions can’t stay there. I’ve moved on, and my mission commission must move with me. I know it has, but sometimes your mind plays tricks on you.

I will never give up remembering the beautiful years we spent “on mission” in the Middle East and North Africa. They were truly the best years of my life (maybe because I was a lot younger and had more energy). Yet, I also know that God has given me some wonderful “on mission” moments this side of the ocean — this decade.

  • I’ve watched a church get planted and grow.
  • I’ve seen God work in the lives of Arabs and Americans in amazing ways.
  • I’ve been able to disciple and mentor others.
  • I’ve witnessed the spiritual growth in the life of my sons, glowing in their efforts for the Kingdom.
  • I’ve watched God minister through others to me in grief.
  • I’ve watched God do amazing things as he’s led me and others through the valley of the shadow of death.
  • I’ve seen prayers answered.
  • I’ve watched him use my attempts at writing for his glory.
  • I’ve seen what he continues to do in the lives of those we loved over a decade ago.

So, though we left “a field” a decade ago, I know now, he’s just led me to another one, and it’s here I make a choice to stay “on mission” until he calls me home.

Are you looking too often to the days gone by? It’s a nice place to visit, but a dangerous one to stay. There’s still work to be done while we can still call this day, day. Press on in mission to His glory.

Grace and Peace


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