As much as I enjoy being a missionary, it can be a rather lonely affair. You donÕt really fit in the North American scene anymore, but neither are you 100% a part of the culture in which you serve. Furloughs tend to re-emphasize that it is hard to connect at times with folks at home. But then comes the time to return.We arrived in Cubulco on a Friday afternoon to find our kitchen had been taken over by some of the sisters of the congregation who were preparing a typical Guatemala meal. Later in the afternoon we were joined by other members of the congregation and we had a time of Bible reading, prayer and singing, followed by the delicious meal. The folks here thought we might be missing our families and wanted to express their love to us.
Yes, it isnÕt easy to leave family and friends behind, but this welcome reminded us that God had given us another family as well. Our lives are not poorer for leaving the familiar surroundings of home--they are richer because God has brought other brothers and sisters into our lives. We were humbled when other brothers walked more than 40 km. to townÑjust to say, Òwelcome back!Ó
We were also reminded of how different our world is here. Not all welcomes are as pleasant as the one mentioned above. A brother was visiting us when he began coughing.
ÒSomething wants to come out,Ó he said to me.
ItÕs probably phlegm,Ó I suggested. What else could it be?
However, he kept coughing until he finally stood up and made his way to the door. Suddenly, he gagged and out came a 5-inch squiggly worm! No wonder he wasnÕt feeling well--he was full of parasites! I gave him a jar to keep the worm and show it to the doctor. After assuring him that it wasn't an evil spirit, I hurried him off to the hospital!
Yes, welcome home. ItÕs all part of life here.
We want to thank you all for your support and prayers. Time and again we were impressed with your love and prayerful support for the work here in Cubulco. Thank you for letting us work with you to bring the Good News of Jesus to the folks here in Cubulco.