November 14, 2013
Before I was a parent, I was the fun aunt. I would color and play games with my nieces and nephews. I often had someone hanging on my back or riding on my shoulders. It was not uncommon for me to spin someone around or flip them upside-down. I was really fun. As a parent, I can't do that everyday. We do play like that sometimes, but not often. The reality is that I don't have the energy to do that all the time. With other people's kids I knew that I was not responsible for taking care of them everyday, I could play and have fun and give them back to their parents.
I feel like in missions we are now the parents. We used to be short term mission people. We would go somewhere, do as much as we could to help in a short time and then go home back to our regular lives. We were fun, we had a lot of energy and we were able to do a lot in a short time. Now we have to be able to live here in the heat and humidity all year long. Working so hard that we are exhausted at the end of everyday is just not an option. We have to be able to maintain life here with our family while doing mission work. It's hard. The heat and humidity alone are enough to make us tired at the beginning of the day. There is a limited supply of energy, and we have to use it wisely.
Short term mission teams are like fun the fun aunt or uncle. They come in with lots of energy, excited to work in our country and with the people here. Short term teams come and play with our Kid's Club kids. They run and jump and spend more time with them than we can often do. It's fun for them, and fun for our kids. They see how the kids live, and learn about their lives. They can take that home with them and tell their friends about the needs here. The more people that know about the needs here the better.
We were recently able to spend about 10 days with a couple of short term teams. It was a huge blessing to us. It was hard because most days were filled with activities clinics and outreaches and it was hard for us to keep up. I realized that they could keep up that schedule because they were going to go home and be able to have normal again soon. It was good for us to let them share their energy and excitement about the mission with us. We were blessed to have their encouragement. Thank you short term mission groups!