Transition is a big part of our lives. Goodbyes/See you later’s are not constant but at times it feels like it. We love our lives here and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. We are also aware that missionaries aren’t the only whose lives are filled with transition. However, it has been on my mind lately and so I thought I would share a little bit with our blog readers about the transitions in our life.
Here are a few examples of the transitions that are a normal part of our life.
Part of our ministry assignment is to host Work & Witness teams (aka short-term missions teams.) For 7 – 14 days we immerse ourselves in a new “family” and help that new family navigate the new place they find themselves. We also spend time preparing before they come as well as following up after they leave with the local and district leaders.
Other aspects of our ministry mean that usually once a month we are traveling for at least a weekend if not more. We enjoy being out on the field and hearing and seeing what God is doing in and through the church. But it comes with planning and a certain number of transitions.
Part and parcel with being a missionary is the coming and going of missionary families. It would take more fingers that I have to count all the Missionary families and volunteers that have moved in and out of our city and lives in the 3.5 years we have been here.
Every 2 years we spend 3 months on Home Assignment. We travel throughout the US sharing the story of what God is doing on the Africa South Field. Which is a blessing but also comes with it lots of preparation, planning and lots of transitions.
Not to mention the normal transitions that comes with life, marriage, parenthood and ministry. Peter is now 28 months old and transitioning into a more independent (yet still very dependent) stage. He has moved to a big boy bed and is starting to potty train. He has friends and he asks for them. He still needs a nap but he thinks that he doesn’t. He has opinions and will gladly voice them as well as his displeasure when his opinion is not followed. He is also able to hold a conversation, loves sitting and being read to, he loves to be outdoors and is generally a happy, easy going toddler. Who for the most part handles well all the transition and adventures that are a part of our families lives.
This has been on my mind lately as I watch friends and colleagues navigate transitions in their own lives. Friends who are awaiting the birth of another child, friends who are changing ministry roles and places, friends who are dealing with loss and what that means for their family, friends who have moved or are moving, just to name a few.
On Sunday we had a time of celebration on the Africa Region. We were celebrating the new role that Dr Fili Chambo has in the global church. While we are excited for the new role we are also sad to see him and his family go. And we pray for them as they make the transition from South Africa to the US. We also celebrated our new Regional Director Rev. Dany Goray for them as they make the transition from their lives in Senegal to South Africa. There have been great days in the continent of Africa and there are great days ahead.mis. And we also p
As the lyrics of the song “Closing Time” remind us “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.” Beginnings and endings come with them a host of emotions. However I am also reminded of the words of Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
So whatever transition you find yourself in remember the good of what is behind and look forward to the good of what is to come. Always remembering that God is with you.
Until next time: Remember toddlers have amazing memories (for certain things). Several times we have walked to a nearby shopping center where they have ice cream cones. Yesterday Peter wanted to go for a walk and Joe let him lead the way. Guess where he led the way to; yup to the place where we get ice cream. He was quite sad when he found the doors locked and lights off. Also he clearly got his sense of direction from his father not his mother.