It was just us now. Our helpful friends had gone back to their own homes. After three days of moving stuff we were finally standing in an empty house. “Is that everything?” The words echoed and seemed so loud in the vacant space. A few tears welled up in Kristi’s eyes as the time got closer for us to get in the car to drive away from this house for the last time. A few of those tears got up the courage to take the plunge and start rolling down her cheeks. I knew it was taking everything she had to not break down sobbing in front of the kids. She is so brave. Our hearts had become so attached to this place where our little family had grown up for the last five years. We brought all three of our babies home to this house. I looked out the window into the backyard. I had spent so much time building the clubhouse out back for the kids. I wanted it to be just right for them. I still remember Levi’s face the first time he saw it. “Dad, it is SO beautiful!” Beautiful is not the word I was expecting but at that moment I felt like I was ten feet tall. I would have built two more right then if he had asked. We took hundreds of rides down the slide over the next few years but now it was time to leave it behind. I turned away from the window before it became too much.
I think part of the reason that our hearts attach to places and that it hurts to leave is that our souls are longing for our real home. We are longing for our Father. He has prepared a beautiful place for us and we will get to live there forever. No more packing. It’s going to be even better than a tunnel slide! In the meantime, we have to remember that we are just strangers here on earth. We are just passing through and we have a mission to accomplish.
For now our family has moved into a tiny two-bedroom rental house in Roanoke. I literally have to squeeze into the one bathroom because the door handle and sink are so close together but it is going to be a great place for Norah to learn to walk and we are just grateful that we have a place to live. Compared to some of the places that our missionary friends overseas are living, this place is a mansion. We hope to finish renovating our house in Southeast in the next several months and then it will be time to pack up and move again. I think that God is really trying to drive home the point that we are not citizens here. This world is not our home.
Our journey here continues and we are in good spirits. For those of you who have been asking here are some of our greatest needs right now:
- Prayer – we are trying to build a team of 40 people/families who will commit to pray for us and the work in Southeast for one year
- Labor – obviously because we are living by faith in regards to income we are trying to be as frugal as possible on the remodel. We especially need some people who could volunteer to help with the plumbing and HVAC work and painting.
Keep praying that we won’t get too comfortable here in this life. We don’t want the comforts of this world to blind us to the great need that is right around us. Our favorite verse right now is Philippians 3:20. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Email Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org