Not Home for Christmas

by Jason Bollinger on December 23rd, 2016

​Growing up, my Grandma in Minnesota would always ask us if we were coming "Home for Christmas." Even though I never lived in Minnesota, traveling there most ever year definitely felt like coming home. A couple of years ago, we took our kids there for Christmas, and they said it felt like home. The truth is there's more to being home than simply being back where you are from. 

People make home a home. Usually it's family members that make you feel at home. For those with difficult family situations, friends can make you feel at home. You can feel at home anywhere.

For missionaries, home is complicated. Responding to the international mission call means being willing to leave everything - including home - for at least a season. Serving the nations often involves leaving the comforts of your native land...including the people you are closest to. 

This is a hard reality for both those who have left and for those left behind. This is tough all year long as you are apart for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and other special days, but it is especially tough during the holidays. 

For those who have family members across a border or ocean during the holiday, remembering these things can help us get through the difficulty of being apart. 

PRAY - Praying for each other always reduces the miles between. Praying also focuses us on the bigger picture of why you are apart. There are people desperate for the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel all around the world, and our friends serving the nations are messengers of that hope. The sacrifices they are making and you are making are a practical demonstration of Philippians 2:3: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. The value of seeing the lost, the least, and the last coming into the Kingdom is worth the cost of not being together on the holidays. 

COMMUNICATE - We live in the time of the global village. In most places, a Skype, Facetime or good old-fashioned phone call is as simple as making sure the other side of the world is awake. Set aside some time to get in touch and let the people you are missing know you are missing them and praying for them. Things get really busy really quickly, but setting aside some time to talk to them is not only doable but a significant use of our time. 

CELEBRATE - The holidays are a time to give thanks and to remember the power of Jesus leaving heaven to be with us.  Even if there are people missing from our table, we have a lot to celebrate. Not only that, we should celebrate the work of our friends and family in the field. Let's celebrate them when we talk to them, and let's celebrate them to the family and friends at home. When someone you love can't be home for Christmas, we can make them feel like they are. These are just a few ways to get us started, and the possibilities are endless for including missionaries in our times of being together. 

For those of you in the field, we love you, are proud of you and are praying for you. Thank you for the sacrifices you are making to be ambassadors of GOOD NEWS. We miss you, but we know you are where you need to be. We hope to be able to see you soon, and we rejoice at the work the Lord has put before you. 

For the Kingdom,
​PS - The Harper Family pictured above is serving in Northern Uganda. They are an example of the many people serving the Lord on mission around the world. For more on the Harpers click here

Posted in not categorized    Tagged with missionaries, christmas, Links International, Home for Christmas, Harpers, Uganda


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