November 7, 2011
Three Years and Counting...
Today marks three years since we landed on the beautiful tropical soil of Paraguay, land of the Guarani in the heart of South America. Our little family of four and everything we owned stashed into 2 check-ins, a carry-on, and a backpack each. Oh, yeah, and my parents, who arrived with us to spy out the land where we'd be permanently relocating their beloved granddaughters.
We landed with a plan, with ideas of how this whole life would work, with concepts of what a missionary is and does. We quickly found out how mixed up our preconceived notions really were. We arrived with a lifetime of Christianity and church experiences, ministry work, evangelism. We quickly found out how culturally-centered our spiritual lives were.
Our neighbors became our second family, our community became our mission field, and we learned that God doesn't live within the four walls of the church. We'd believed and taught that all along, but now we LIVED it.
We've been amazed at the ability of our daughters to learn the language(s), adjust to the cultural changes, and roll with the punches of daily life that doesn't resemble what they've always known.
We've learned to live without the safety nets of nearby family and friends to catch our back, a police system you can trust in to make you feel secure, a justice system that is (for the most part) just, and weather that doesn't threaten to destroy you. We've found that the only true security comes from God anyway.
We've been humbled by folks from home, Paraguayans, and people around the globe who have come alongside us at different times in this journey. Folks who have been there and done that, folks who have always dreamed of being there and doing that, or folks who are just glad we're there and doing that.
We arrived physically intact, then decided that should we ever leave Paraguay, parts of us would stay behind--namely Ken's aortic valve and a wedge of my femur.
And most of all we've been floored that the God of the universe, who knows our flaws and imperfections, still saw fit to bring us here to work for His kingdom. Unbelievable. Grateful. Floored.