As I sit here in Poland’s international airport waiting for my connecting flight to Slovakia, I can’t help but be reflective over the past few months. Zach and I moved to Belgium 4 months ago on Saturday and it seems like a lifetime ago.
Since moving we have helped with community outreaches and missions teams in Belgium, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, and Moldova. We have been to a family wedding in Sweden, and visited my family in Ampthill, England (my first time back in 5 years, and Zach’s first time ever). Now I sit here in the airport, hardly able to count how many planes I’ve been on in the last four months.
To be honest, I love Belgium, and I love living there. We are settling and adjusting well. We finalized the purchase of a car yesterday(yay!), we are getting comfortable with daily life here, seeing improvements in our French, and expecting to start French classes in a few weeks. In fact, I feel like I should love it less.
The biggest burden I face on an almost daily basis is the pressure that seems to come with the title missionary. My entire life I saw missionaries come to our church and tell us stories of the difficulties they faced, the miracles they saw, the lives transformed. Though I never thought I would be a missionary by title at the time, it was inspiring and certainly memorable.
Now I carry the title of missionary, yet we go home each day in our own car, to a modern home, with pretty “normal” food, with little to report but what the social media plan is for the next month or how many files I backed up and emails I got through that day. We’ve been traveling, and have heard and seen some pretty amazing things, yet I am beginning to come to terms with what the life of a missionary actually is.
You see, those stories are the exception to the rule. God does great things and has great plans, but life isn’t just mountains and valleys. The supernatural occurs right in the midst of the natural and sometimes in the most normal ways. A chance meeting, a brief exchange, a smile and a thank you. We are living for and praying for more, always more. But in a continent that is dark and Godless, we are here to be embody the presence of God in the normal day-to-day life. At the checkout counter in the store, to neighbors on our street, to the people next to us at the airport. Our “job” is with COHEU to help plan great things and to be on the ground helping when the time calls for it. But the rest of our time looks quite normal and unexciting. So in the mean time, we wait, we watch, and we pray. Please pray with us that God uses us in our day-to-day however ordinary it may look.