Have you heard the expression “Boots on the Ground?” Well our Live Dead Missionaries are the boots on the Silk Road. Here we’d like to take a moment and allow one of them to share a snapshot of their life with you. Some names and details have been changed, but this is a true story from this colorful, vibrant, and sometimes surprising region.
We left the Silk Road with plans to move back into our same home there upon returning one year later. It’s the place the kids knew, it’s where our neighbors knew us. And while the home was very old and not newly renovated, it was a good house.
We finished our year in America and we did indeed land in our host country and walked back into our old home that morning all feeling just that…like we were home. Upon our arrival back however, rent costs had fallen …and this house of ours was falling too. The walls were literally crumbling and the sewer pipe leaking. After much deliberation we decided to look at other houses. I hesitated though, as often times, in our part of the world it seems that when you move into another house, you trade one set of problems for another. But by the time we had settled on a house, it seemed perfect. Newly renovated not fancy- but all walls intact. And still in the same neighborhood.
Over the years I have come to appreciate the challenges of living here. They are a constant reminder to me of why I am here. It’s not because my flesh wants to be here. I wake up in the mornings refusing to waste my days. I refuse to live half a world away from my family for nothing. I refuse to go days without electricity or water for nothing. So I will ever work for the something that I am here for. I will take what sometimes feels like endless suffering and exchange it for eternal value. That will be my drive. And while I have learned to appreciate the challenge, that doesn’t mean I don’t long for ease.
And after 2 weeks of living in our new home and setting up house, it felt as if I had found reprieve. I loved our new home. I had found my sanctuary.
Maybe my suffering wouldn’t be quite as intense this time around. Sigh of relief.
It was midnight. Our taxi would be there in 2 hours to take us to the airport to fly to a mandatory conference with colleagues. Just as I walked into the kitchen…it happened. A mouse ran across the floor. We had just traded in…for mice!
So there I sat on the airplane replaying in my mind what had happened. Failed attempts at catching the mouse and then locking him in the kitchen just before hopping in the taxi. And here I sat miles away, grieving over what should have been my new sanctuary, which now i suspected was infested with mice.
I have said it out loud so many times: “I can do this third-world country thing, but as soon as it involves rodents in my home, I no longer can.” And so here I am just days away from boarding an airplane to go back to my home with mice. I asked my husband this morning, “Is this mouse thing a big deal to you? Are you as upset as I am?” And then he quotes this:
“For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for Him.” (Phil. 1:29)
Insert eye roll. It seemed such an insensitive time to be quoting Scripture. But it has resonated in my heart all day: “the privilege of suffering for Him.”
So I will.
I will do this third-world country thing…even with rodents.