I’ve often told my students here at the MTC that holidays can be hard on the field. It’s hard being away from your family and everything that seems special. When we were in PNG, we and the missionaries nearby worked hard to make Christmas a special time…we had great food, played games, often went swimming in the river, etc. And while we were all wishing we could be home with our families, we actually had quite a good time.
Not all missionaries have that type of support system close by, though. This week I heard several stories that made me remember some of these things these young people are giving up for the gospel.
One young mom, who has always loved Christmas, cried through her Skype call with her mom. And although she tried to make Christmas as special as possible, it hurt to be so far away.
Another family was separated for the holidays because their daughter got a possible broken arm just a few days before Christmas. Mom and daughter were able to fly out from their remote location to see a doctor, but there will be no flights back until after January 1st. They’re making the most of it!
Another young woman found she would be totally alone on Christmas day. She and some co-workers had a fun evening on Christmas Eve, but none-the-less, she was alone on Christmas day, being in a new city and not knowing many others. I prayed for her, hoping she wouldn’t feel the loneliness too acutely. I was thrilled when I heard this:
“It didn’t particularly feel like Christmas, but it wasn’t a bad day. God has been so gracious to me and has shown His love to me in so many little ways over the past few days. It has been a long time since I’ve really felt His presence the way I did yesterday evening.”
Isn’t that precious? God came through again!
There’s HOPE and PEACE and JOY in the midst of less-than-perfect situations. Please keep these new missionaries in your prayers as they continue to adjust to new situations, and daily lean on Him for grace to thrive and share His story with others!