It’s rare that missionaries get so close to the people they serve that they feel like family. This was one such time when someone we were ministering to hung out with our family all day. I wasn’t sure why, until the end of the day when she opened up and showed us her heart.
Our student friend finally had some free time, and was happy to join a Bible study series. With a hectic social life and now lots of Christian friends, she felt good slowing down and taking time to focus on God’s Word with me.
In the morning we enjoyed Bible study over coffee along with two other friends. Then we all had lunch together at my house. After lunch the others left, but she said, “Maybe I’ll head home when you go for school pick-up.” So we walked together to school and back home again.
As I look back at that afternoon, she never showed signs of wanting to leave. More coffee, snacks, then homework. She hopped down on the floor and played with my kids. I could tell she just loved being with our family.
It was getting close to dinner time when I asked, “Do you want to eat with us?” and she readily agreed.After dinner we continued our usual evening routine: bathed the kids, did story-time, put the kids in bed.
By 8 our guest was texting on the sofa. But she no longer seemed like a guest.
The kettle boiled and we shared a cup of tea. Slowly we reminisced about our friend’s experience here as an overseas student. We talked about the Christian kids’ songs in the welcoming church, the Bible studies, and the kindness of those God must have sent to help. As we talked, the clock ticked comfortably.
I said, “Soon you’ll be moving away, we’ll miss you so much.” I continued, “I’ve been thinking of something I felt I should ask you about. There’s a place in the Bible where it says, ‘Remember your Creator in the days of your youth’. Before life gets complicated and tough, and it feels like there are too many reasons to forget, God is saying to trust in Him. Do you think you are ready?”
She didn’t reply straight away. There were so many factors to consider: Family, future responsibilities. She pondered it all, but she wasn’t sure yet.
By now it felt like we were talking sister to sister, not missionary to student. I finally could share out of love, the sort of love that only happens in family.
I now pray that it won’t be long until she can come to trust the One who made, loved and sacrificed His Son for us both.
Days like this are a gift from Him.
Written by Laura-Jane.