It's only about a week til thanksgiving and it's been just over 100 days here in Peru. It's getting to the point in our journey where many of us student missionaries are really starting to miss our family and friends.
Don't get me wrong- we missed them from the beginning (or at least I did). In fact hardly a night goes by when before going to bed I don't look through my phone at all the pictures of my family and best friends and wonder how they're doing. Thinking about them and getting to see them again is what puts me to sleep at night.
It's hard to describe how much I miss them and how much I miss home in contrast to the joy of being here in Peru. When people ask you "How are you doing?" I don't want to be like "homesick and counting the days" yet sometimes it just seems so long. The thing I would hate the most is a cliche response like "I told you it was a long time, You can come home if you want too, or it's all part of the journey."
I have a really strong relationship with my immediate family. We are one of those families that sometimes seems like an American dream. We camp together, eat together, play together, swim together, travel to different states together, and kiss each other goodnight. Even though I haven't completely lived with my parents for 4 years because of boarding academy and college, I still miss them more than I can describe. In both academy and college I would call my mom two to three times a day and tell her everything that is going on with my life. Now I can't do that and it's hard.
Often I wonder about my friends and family back home. Do they really miss me? Is it even different now that I'm not there? Sometimes living in America seems only like a dream. It's not everyday reality to me anymore. I'm accustomed to living here. Yet as much as I love some of the projects I'm involved in here and absolutely adore my Peruvian family of 17 best friends- it doesn't take away the longing of home.
Sometimes when I feel homesick all I want to do is complain, whine, or mope but I'm learning that complaining won't do anything or change the situation. None of my friends want to hear how much I miss home- we all do miss it, but it's ok. We are learning that we are here only for a year which is so short compared to eternity and the other possible 85 years or so in America (however long an average lifespan is). We are learning that through our weaknesses and homesickness God is here with us. I'm also learning to pray for other student missionaries in different places around the world who might not have a missionary family of friends like I do here. I can't even imagine what it would be like without my best friends. To conclude, I just want to encourage you to pray for all the missionaries who are serving. During thanksgiving thank God that you can be close to your family and your friends!
Just now the Lord gave me this verse of comfort and assurance. Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you; He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.