The Mixed Blessings of Missionary Life

We celebrate 30 years here this month! And while our years here have not always been easy, we would tread this path all over again. For it’s been a good life in which we have seen God’s faithfulness.

Joy with sorrow

But life overseas is joy mixed with sorrow.

Unable to attend the funerals of my husband’s parents and my grandparents, the needed closure took much longer. Rarely getting to meet our new grandchildren as newborns, our empty arms ached.

We’ve missed many milestones in our children’s and grandchildrens’ lives, from graduations to first dates, as well as marriage engagements, weddings, and most special holidays and birthdays. It’s hard not being there for our loved ones. And it’s hard missing their major events. And it’s a heavy weight being far away when elderly parents are hospitalized. Unable to help or do anything, except pray.

“So what makes you stay?” you wonder. Because we know this is where we should be. This is where God has placed us, and it has given us so many opportunities to reach out and touch the lives of those around us. And in turn be touched by theirs.

So though at times our hearts are heavy, ours is a tale of rejoicing. For the Lord has also blessed us far more than we could ever imagine! Even blessing us with a second home!

Blessing of a summer home!

That’s right – the Lord blessed us with our own summer home! One home for folks who have never earned much seems ludicrous…but two?

Yes, for we have inherited Hubby’s ancestral home — the very house he was born in! And though he owns it jointly with his 3 siblings, they’re in the USA, so we’re the only ones (for now) who use it.

Our children loved that village, where freely they could roam the streets and even ride on donkeys! And we visited often until my father-in-law passed away.

But then as Hubby’s older siblings could no longer visit from New York, and not wanting the old place to decline, they asked us to keep it up. “Not everyone has a rent-free home!” they said, and even generously paid for repairs! And so we added that to our list of blessings.

So life overseas may at times seem exotic (and it sometimes is). But it’s really a lot like life anywhere, with both good and bad mixed together. What’s important is that we remember to look for the blessings and discover the lessons found in the bad times.

Life is full of good and bad, but we can find blessings in both! Sometimes we just have to search a bit harder.

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

Winnie the Pooh

Imaes: Woman at airport Oleksandr Pidvalnyi | Others ©SignoraSheila | SignorMario.

8 thoughts on “The Mixed Blessings of Missionary Life

  1. Missing important dates and days is a challenge at the moment. But the Lord has blessed you with a wonderful ministry in a place many don’t have the opportunity to go for Him. I love that Winnie the Pooh quote–how easy it is to not value the reason saying goodbye is so difficult. You have a rich life, my friend, which has enabled others to have one as well.


    1. Thanks much for the encouragement, Dayle. The Lord always helps us through these times. He is good and has been ever faithful! And it’s all worth it if we can touch but one heart for him!


  2. Praying that you are able to pick up where you left off last summer with the open-air Bible studies. I know God has been preparing hearts over the months you’ve been absent. They will no doubt be anxious for your return and excited to learn from the Bible, ready to be introduced to the abundant life in Jesus! I can imagine more people in attendance, too, as word-of-mouth spreads the good news. And I’ll be excited to hear the results! May God bless your efforts, Sheila–many fold!


      1. Another summer approaches and its opportunities! I continue to pray for you and your husband, Sheila. P.S. Thank you so much for becoming a follower of my blog. I am deeply honored, knowing your time is limited for blog-browsing. I sincerely pray you find the posts meaningful whenever you’re able to visit!


        1. Thanks Nancy, I appreciate all your prayers! I love your blog and deep insight, and always come away restored and encouraged. I appreciate you, dear sister!


  3. Hi Sheila, I can only imagine what you have missed but I also understand that you know where you are supposed to be. That in itself is a blessing because many of us don’t find that until much later in life. There is a peace in being in God’s will, trusting Him, depending on Him. For many years I did not understand that, I stayed in the driver’s seat and I was wrong. Yet He forgives and continues to draw me closer to Him. So I look up to you both because of your faithfulness. And I am sure that not only are you two an inspiration to me but also to many others. Grace and blessings!


    1. Yes Bruce, that is exactly the way it is. Great peace in knowing that this is God’s place for us for this time. But all the glory goes to God. HIS faithfulness makes it possible for us to keep keeping on. It is only through his strength, for believe me we are often weak! I thank you for your heartwarming words, especially your prayers that we may be a tiny blessing and encouragement to others. If we can touch but one life for Christ, that makes it worth it all!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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