After long days of getting into the new "groove" of ESL classes in the big city and the new norm of church planting work with no camp here in town, it was good to put it all aside and take an official "day off" recently. Colleagues from across the lake had called to ask about seeing a local spot with some "cave drawings." The spot is way off the main track and the drawings aren't that great (some might not even be "prehistoric"), but it sounded like a good picnic day event and a grand way to spend a national holiday.
Spending quality down-time with missionary colleagues is a good way to care for our hearts...
We can talk about anything and everything in our mother tongue without fear. (My colleague and I were rattling on in English while the local "cave drawing guide" who stood a little bit off but just close enough, kept interrupting as if he understood it all with random comments that made some sense. I thought I'd fall over laughing a few times.)
We can cultivate the MK aunt/uncle relationship between colleagues and missionary children on such days. MK's need real people in their life who stand the gap for the blood relatives far off in some other country. My boys are super privileged to have a great bunch of missionary aunts and uncles who remember their birthdays, house them when needed, give a helping hand in projects and life, and pray for them!
We can just sit and enjoy the time away from the world and away from the work of life in a foreign country. For me that means no hot cooking, no thoughts of laundry (which is more since we change clothes more often and more complicated a process), no worries about who's going to call or clap at my gate, no concerns about lesson plans or studying, especially when your colleagues like to bake and take all the goodies!
On the field, finding a professional counselor can be impossible. To care of my heart I try to take some time off when I can find it. I try to cherish my devotional time even if it's not every single morning. I appreciate little quality moments with my husband and my boys. And we take advantage of extended family times with our missionary colleagues.
But take heed to yourselves that your hearts may not at any time be weighed-down with ... anxieties pertaining-to-life,
Luke 21:34 DLNT