Friday, May 6, 2016

Pressing On - Aging Parents and Staying on the Field

William and Granny
Mother's Day is just around the corner.  It can be a rough day for P.O.M.s all over the world.  Parents of Missionaries.  This year I'll get to feel a little of what my mother and my mother-in-law have over all these years with two of my sons on another continent.  Thankfully there isn't all the hype with this holiday as I might would see in the States and we don't have television to see a constant reminder through commercials with products for this and that for mothers.
William, Mom and Dad
 Nonetheless it is Mother's Day this weekend just like in the USA.  Father's Day is celebrated here on a different date than the States, by the way.  And many holidays that the US has we don't and vice versa.  Mother's Day must be universal?  

Can you imagine never winning a prize at church on the Sunday of Mother's Day for having all your family present?  Can you feel the pain of listening to all the goobley-gook of mush about how so-and-so is so blessed to have all her children and grandchildren sitting on her pew today while yours are far, faraway serving the Lord on some foreign soil?  Where's the prize for that?  Mom and Daddy, Granny - that prize is not just in heaven!  It's here and now albeit not always up close and personal.  It's the knowledge of a job well done in your devoted support to world missions.

Thankfully William and Dalton are filling some of the void of the years as they visit and call and reach out to their grandparents.  I'm very thankful that William was able to be there for my parents recently after a small vehicle accident in which they were involved.  I'm glad that Dalton was able to start out with his Granny when he finished high school and got a job nearby her house.

Dalton and Mom
One year my Mom did win a prize at church!  Byron and I were on furlough one year and my brother was in the area.  He and his wife spent two years as missionaries in Southern Brazil and currently serve the Lord in the state of Texas.  Grandma had both of her children and all six of her grandboys at church that day and won a prize!

It's not easy to leave behind family to go to a foreign field. Thankfully today we have Facebook and Whatsapp and Skype and numerous ways to keep in touch. But it's still rough to not be able to pick up the phone or run up the road in a jiffy.

As parents of missionaries get older some leave the field to return to the States to care for them. Others try to bring elderly parents to the field.  Some have siblings that can fill the gap.  Yet others begin to make more frequent trips to the States.

Right now Byron and I can be grateful for the overall good health of his mother and my parents.  We can rest assured that both have good neighbors and friends nearby.  We can know that my brother is prepared to do what he can and that William and Dalton are not far away.

Nonetheless we worry and wonder and wish.  

We worry about health.

We wonder about needs.

We wish we could be closer.

Does God know our feelings and burdens?  Oh yes, He does.  

If you are reading this and know a P.O.M. in your community or church, consider what you can do to be a part of keeping foreign missionaries on the field!  Check on elderly P.O.M.'s.  Go by and see if they need the lawn mowed.  Take a meal or treat or vegetables from your garden.  Ask if they'd like to go out to eat.  See what they are doing on a holiday.  Let your kids adopt them on Mother's Day or Father's Day and shock the people at your church when your kids stand up for them!

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

1 comment:

  1. Loving you from a far place but you are always close in my heart,Mom


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