I think that it probably came as a shock to them, because we didn’t really talk about it to anyone until we were sure about our decision. Everyone was surprised, and some not in a good way. My parents were supportive. Their only concern was that I make sure it was God’s will for our family. Other family members were not too keen. I had one family member who asked me not to take the family all the way down to South America. After a few weeks they came around and said that if it was God’s will then God would make a way.
With Emily’s family, let’s just say that I am not the favorite son-in-law now. Seeing that I am currently the only son-in-law they have, that’s pretty bad. They were sad to realize that they would not be living every grandparent’s dream of living near their grandchildren. Though they are sad, they trust the Lord, and they know that God’s plans for our lives are far better than their plans or our own plans.
I believe that with any family, the price of foreign missions is hard and a sacrifice. It’s never easy. Going through this we understand a very small part of the sacrifice of God the Father sending His Son so we might be saved. We understand that the gospel only advances through sacrifice and suffering. Shouldn’t we be willing to sacrifice so that others may hear and be saved? Our sacrifice looks so small in comparison to the sacrifice of Christ, and the sacrifice of others that have gone on before us. I am getting on a plane and it will take me less than a half day to get to the southern hemisphere. I have email, Facebook, Skype, FaceTime, and a whole arsenal of technological advancements to help me stay connected with my family. Compared to the missionaries of the past who packed their belongings in their own coffins, my sacrifice is small.
With that said, it is never easy to say goodbye to loved ones. One thing that brings comfort to our hearts is that this world is not the end, it is not final. The scriptures teach us of a land that is to come where time will never touch us. A land where goodbyes will never be spoken. We go with this hope ever before us.
This is post is part 3 in the series “Answering Vision” and is taken from the panel discussion questions from the missions conference at Vision Baptist Church you can read part 2 here.