Monday, February 8, 2016

From Farm to Farm

There is very little magical about airports when it’s time to say goodbye. My parents are safely on US soil again and our family has felt your prayers, leaving us so grateful for the visit, the time of grief is passing. 

The girls were heartbroken, it’s interesting to watch all four members of our family handle grief differently. Remember my post on Grief being our friend?  It’s always a rough visit from her though. As our hearts are enmeshed in multiple places, I realize Grief cannot be avoided as saying “hello” to one group means saying “goodbye” to another. Thank you, God, you have given us people who love us and who we love that it hurts to part. Some seasons are so sweet in community or relationship and fellowship that I taste a morsel of what heaven will be like. I can make it my idol, wanting that nearness in relationships here and now and acutely feeling the sacrifice of not having it. The yearning for heaven grows in our hearts, when people from every tribe, tongue and nation stand around the throne of God in worship and we never have to say leave. 

At our recent Spiritual Life Conference, to a large group of very nomadic people, people who live on the edge, pushing into new frontiers, people who could be characterized by adventure and courage, I posed the following “Would You Rather” question during a light-hearted game: 

“Would you rather move the rest of your life, never spending more than one night in one place OR would you rather never again leave the five-mile radius of your home?” 

I expected a mix of answers from this large, international group, characterized by airports and moves but as we looked out, nearly 100%, if given the choice, chose to never again leave the 5 mile radius of their homes. Some eyes were tear-filled but there seemed a palpable groaning in the silence for a time of no more goodbyes.

Whew, I didn’t expect to end up here and it isn’t because of the one goodbye we just experienced, but the process of goodbyes, the knowledge of friends here moving on, the life full of joy but so insecure in the future. May our roots be deep in Christ, all else is shifting sand.

Another smattering of pictures…

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Always a farmer…

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And farmer’s wife

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Learning how to plow without a John Deere

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Walking to a hut. I don’t know how many rounds of coffee we were served but we were blessed by our community’s gracious hospitality they extended to my parents.

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These cuties at one of our house visits.

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After being served lunch and coffee, they gave us the gift of two of their cabbages. 

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A “salem no” shoulder bump hug. 

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Through a comical set of circumstances, while Mom, Dad and I were in the market, these three boys carried our purchased items.  (Notice my new egg cartons.  After 1.5 years, my others were in shreds).

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Forging different trails

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Putting in a new staircase up to our attic

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Talking “farm” with Woodmizer guys (local sawmill brought in by 5 F’s project to support landless youth).

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Fixing electric issues

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Admiring our neighbor’s handiwork

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School in the hammock

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Hiking through the “Little Red Riding Hood Woods”.

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Tafera’s family (our project director).

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Fun at Yeshi’s…


Shari Fiechter said...

We love remembering all these moments Amy! When you balance it all out, the joy of being together far outweighs the grief of parting. However, we sure are missing all of you! :-)

sarah.flyingkites said...

Amy, your text on Grief at the beginning of the post was beautiful and insightful (as always). Thanks for continually educating us.

Love and Prayers!

Anonymous said...

Amy, I'm tearing up at this one, especially since my departure day is nearing next Wed. I hate goodbyes, even after all these years. May you be given special grace to work through your grief and press on. With prayers, Stephany

Teresa said...

Love this post! I spy the 31 bag. :)