Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Gift of Understanding

There are a couple of sweet dear older missionariy ladies that attend our church.  I've been so touched by the in the last little while.  I make a point to talk to them, and they just get me, ya know?  They are both in their mid 80's and are such a testiment to staying the course and giving yourself to a place for the long haul. 

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?


  1. Oh, what a sweet gift and post! I am so encouraged! I don't really have any close friends who have been here much longer than we have been (a few years longer at the most), but I would really love that. We just started our kids in the international school here last year, so I bet I'll get to know some of the veteran missionaries who have high-school kids sometime. I had gotten to know one friend who had been here for 22 years, and though she had been here much longer than we have, her youngest child was in my oldest child's class. They unfortunately returned to the US a few months ago. She was so sweet and encouraging and even though it was a short time, I really was blessed by her friendship and wisdom of being a few steps ahead of me. I too have a huge heart for encouraging young mothers new to the field or new to motherhood overseas. It takes so much to keep us moms thriving, and encouragement and care from another understanding mom goes such a long way. Thanks for sharing this sweet experience.

  2. Slightly off topic, but an older woman gave me a set of embroidered dish cloths exactly like yours when I got married 30 years ago! What a sweet encouragement.