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Saturday, July 2, 2011


10 years. We have lived in Africa for almost 10 years. It's hard to believe! And now we're preparing to go on furlough to the US for 4 1/2 months. We have been on furlough 3 times before, but never have I felt so torn. How do I explain?
How do I leave for so long? This has become my Africa. I am intertwined with the people here. Their hurts are my hurts and I rejoice with their rejoicing. I am pouring my life into others, and in turn get so filled!
How, in the midst of discipling 3 young girls that live in not so ideal situations - girls that come stay with us for a few days every now and then just to get away? How, when a friend's marriage is on the line, and you have the chance to encourage each other often in the Word? How, when a young girl in your small group just accepted Christ as Saviour and has so much growing to do? I am not so naive as to think that Christ cannot grow, heal and encourage His children without me. But I love them! They have become family to me. I love being a part of their lives.
Yet I can't imagine not going, when my family in the US is changing so quickly that I do not really even know them! While away these three years, just to name a few changes, my brother died, 2 nephews got married and I haven't met their wives, babies were born, cross country moves.... I miss the laughter. 
(I must admit, this is not a daily struggle that I allow myself to indulge in. It would be crippling. I find I actually miss my family more as I come close to going back each time, as I allow myself to think about it more.)
I want to drink in every moment of the time I will have with them. I want to know them, and I want them to know the me that I am today. And then I want to come back.
It won't be easy returning to Africa, either. I will say goodbye again, leaving the family that I love. And then I will try to jump back into the lives of people that have gone on with their lives for a little while without me. 


  1. I understand the struggle - just a wee little bit with my "kids" growing up and going out on their own. Life has a way of moving on without me after I've invested so much. There's so much work left to do! My comfort and peace is knowing that God is in control and has a plan in and through it all.

    Praying for you!

  2. meridith seybertJuly 2, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    I understand Mary, after leaving everyone for two years and then coming was such an adjustment, and still is really. When you're so settled and adjusted where you are, and then come back "home" where everything is so different. You hope things can just pick up where you left off last time, but things are different now. But you also long to see your loved ones. I pray God will give you a sense of peace when you leave Africa, and you're time here will be wonderful.


  3. I LOVED this--it's your reality. And I totally understand it. I'll definitely be praying for your heart. But I must say that I can't wait to get my hands on the one who has poured into my life--I miss you so much. And I'm thankful that I'll get a little bit of you soon. :) Cannot wait.