Today I was outside running.
(Don't be impressed. It happens once a month...maybe.)
I was running up a hill, and I thought, "Crap. I didn't read my Bible again today. What is today? Oh. It's Sunday. I don't even care about Sundays anymore. Sundays don't mean anything anymore."
Reader: What?! Sarah, you are a missionary. Of course you are reading your Bible. We just assume that! Plus, you have to go to church. You are a missionary!
This stopped me in my tracks a bit, and I thought, "Why don't Sundays mean anything anymore, and why is my quiet time so crappy?"
Let me prepare you that I am about to get on a soap box, so please feel free to quit reading.
My quiet time is crappy, and I don't care about church anymore because I don't have community anymore.
This is a cop out. I know this, but it made me think about community in the church.
I was swimming in it when I was in Dallas.
I'll be honest, even though it makes me feel vulnerable.
When we moved here, we thought that things would stay the same with our friends.
We thought phone calls would be weekly with our close friends and family.
We thought we would carry on the same relationships we had when we were in Texas, but this has not happened.
I don't say this to play a tiny violin for myself or discredit what anyone has done for us.
People have been amazing in different ways. Seriously blessed us, but I have only talked to one person constantly since I have been here, and even then we sometimes go a week or two without chatting on the phone.
John gets called maybe once a month.
(As his wife, this makes me sad. He lead a home group well for over 5 years, and has a few best friends, but rarely gets called.)
(Also, he would be mortified if he knew I was writing this.)
I get called by one friend or another probably every three weeks, but that is usually only one call by the same person every 2 months.
There is no real relationship in this.
I realize that it is a two way street, but I guess selfishly, I thought that our friends and family would reach out more to us.
When someone calls you once a month and asks how you are doing, you are not going to go into a deep talk about your walk with Jesus.
You are going to say, "Fine." and then move on because you don't ever get to talk to that person, and you don't want to bog them down with your crappy walk with Christ.
You want to keep it surface level and happy.
I realize that people are busy and have their own lives. They are not thinking about us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I get that.
(Although...it is shocking..who wouldn't want to think about us all the time? My pretty face in your mind all the time. Sounds like a perfect day to me:).)
I want to put all of our cards on the table.
We have failed at calling people weekly. Like I said before, this is a two way street. We can pick up the phone and call them, but what is going through our minds is, "I'm sure they're busy. They have a life. They are probably shopping, or at work, or at the play ground, or out to dinner."
This is a cop out, and we need to do better.
Maybe that is what they are thinking about regarding our schedule, but I am here to tell you, that we have nothing to do. We are home if we are not at the farm with the kids.
I don't know.
If I'm being honest, I guess I wanted people to care more about us.
Maybe I did want that tiny violin to be played because this life is hard.
I wanted people to care that we are in a country where we don't speak the language well.
I wanted people to care that I can't leave the house on my own unless I am with John.
I wanted people to care that we can't go out at night because it is dangerous, and John will most likely be offered prostitutes by some super shady men.
I wanted people to care that we don't have a church to go to where we can worship in a language we understand.
I wanted people to care that Jackson does not have any friends or even a play ground he can go play on.
I wanted people to care that I am not reading my Bible enough, that I am struggling with making Christ a priority because I am just trying to survive and do what makes the day go by quickly, so that I am one day closer to going home. (Hello run-on sentence!)
I wanted people to care that John has the weight of the world on him every time he gets in the car to go somewhere. The he was told to just to keep driving if he ever gets a flat tire because it is to dangerous to stop. Most likely someone slashed the tire and is waiting for you to pull over so that they can rob you or worse.
I wanted people to care that he has to look around at everyone when we go into a store or ATM together because there is a high possibility someone might try to rob us or even kidnap us.
I wanted people to care that we are here. We are alone. We are lonely. We are scared. We are nervous. We are stressed. We are tense every time we take a step outside.
But, it doesn't feel like people really care, and that sucks.
So, I don't say this so that everyone will pick up the phone and call us.
I don't want you to.
I am not trying to get pity phone calls.
(Although someone needs to pick up the phone and call my wonderful husband. He is going to read this though, and know that I forced the issue. So, maybe give it a week.)
I say this to the people who have other friends in different countries that are missionaries.
They need to hear from you.
Pick up the phone and call them.
Call them once a week.
Put it on your planner and call them.
(If they don't have a phone you can call them on, email them. Don't Facebook them. It is not the same.)
Ask them how their quiet time with God is. Ask them what they read in the Bible that day. Ask them what God is teaching them. Ask them about their frustrations. Ask them how they are leading their family spiritually. Ask them how their kids are doing, how their kids are growing in the Lord, how their kids are functioning. Ask them.
It will be weird at first, but if you do it every week, you will be watering a very dry land. You will be filling their souls.
From a friend and fellow missionary: "I decided long ago that being a missionary is the loneliest thing on the planet."
Seriously, call them...right now.
Stop reading this.
Go call them.
Oh, you wan't to see another picture of me so that you can keep my image in your mind all day?
How about John instead. Look at that sexiness.
I want to comment that we have amazing friends. We love them dearly and value their friendship. We cannot wait to get back to them. We know that they love us too. Nothing on here is personal or meant to be taken personally because like I said before, it goes both ways.