It was such a blessing to have Natasha’s parents come out and visit. I had so much fun trying to speak with them in the little bit of Russian I know. Lena, a friend of ours who is also close to Natasha’s parents, came along to help her parents travel. Such a sweet time of fellowship. It was just amazing to see them have the opportunity to watch how the Lord is using Natasha here. I know it is a joy for parents to see why their children are afar and how the Lord is working in them and through them.
I know as missionaries, so often it is our parents that are forgotten. Many people pray for us and encourage us--praise the Lord for those sisters and brothers, but the unsung heroes and true servants are our parents. They have been called, like Abraham, to give up their loved child as a sacrifice to the Lord. They sacrifice the typical parent child relationship, and visits, and holiday celebrations. Parents will learn all about technology and Skype, just to make it seem like we are closer, so they can see us. When they do see their missionary child many times, due to illness or diet, we look different and that just reminds them of how much they miss out on. They sacrifice even being the spoiling grandparents, since either we don’t have children or the children are too far and sending gifts is almost impossible.
I just want to say, remember our parents. As you pray for missionaries on the field, please pray for our families and the calling that the Lord has put on their lives too. Our parents hear our heartbreaks, our joys, our struggles, our lonely times, yet they continue to encourage us to follow God’s call instead of telling us to give up and come back “home.” They pray for us, tell others about God’s work, and yet sometimes are forgotten in the church. I know I am so blessed when I hear about how my pastor checks in on my parents and that he was there when my mom had surgery. I am comforted when I know that others are praying for my parents and they are there when I can’t be. That is the joy of being in the Lord’s family.
Pray for missionary parents, and love on the ones you know.