Friday, July 19, 2013

Where does the time go?

Sometimes when our long-term mission doctors are preparing to return home, I have to ask myself, “Is that really three years?” 

I know for them, the three years of sacrifice, hard work and greater than these, missing family and friends has at times seemed to last forever.  Yet as they prepare to return home too, they are often struck with how quickly the time seems to have gone.

My husband and I in Thailand
I remember getting off the plane in Los Angeles in 1981 after our three years with Tom and our three children and looking around to see the faces of my sister and her family, I was so excited!  I would meet my niece Shannon for the first time, and my sister would get to meet a nephew and niece born in Thailand, and see just how much our oldest had grown in three years.  She met me with a box of Cheerios in hand - I told her it was the food I had missed the most!  For my husband, there couldn’t be enough chocolate to compensate for three years without it - I think he is still making up for it today!

Hakes on their first day in Cameroon in 2010
This summer we see one couple, the Hakes, return home from Cameroon and a family, the Burket-Thoene complete three years in Guatemala and take their place in Cameroon.  Tim Cavanagh is ‘spanning the gap’ having served there twice before.

Someone once said the days can be long but the years go quickly - this seems very true about mission work, perhaps about everything.  There can be days that the amount of work that needs to be accomplished can seem like an insurmountable hill - yet, as we look back - “has it really been a year, two years, ten….”  Let us strive to use what little time we have in service to others, always grateful for the gifts we have ever mindful that our lives are a gift and we can share this gift with others!