A couple of Christmases ago, one of them handed me a package. She moved here to Costa Rica in the 50's with her husband and young kids to help translate the Bible. She was one of the first people to talk to us when we started to attend church.
When I asked her what it was, she simple said, "well, I guess you'll have to wait until you get home to find out."
The card was so sweet. It said "I hope this small gift helps you in your ministry to your family." She knows what it's like to have young kids on the mission field. She knows what it is like to be far from family, from familiar. She understands that my primary ministry here, there, anywhere, is to my husband and kids and everything else is secondary (something I often have to explain to people).
And what was in the package? A new washcloth, a new spatula (a nice one too, one that is hard to come by here) and the best part? A set of hand embroidered tea towels with the days of the week on them. You know, these
When my husband saw them, he said, "it's from one mom to another." And that is exactly right. Sure, we had young kids 50 years apart, but some things never change. You can always use some pretty things to make the daily washing dishes, cooking, wiping dirty faces just a little nicer. And there is no way she could have known this, but I have always wanted vintage days of the week towels.
More than the physical objects, it was a gift of understanding, from one generation to the next. Understanding the life as a young mom in a strange land. Understanding my primary ministry. Understanding that washing dishes, cooking meals, making a home is important, necessary, vital. What a gift!
How about you?
Have you been encouraged by the older missionaries on the field? Is there a newer missionary you could encourage this week?