Someday soon my sister is coming home. She has not been in the US for at least a year and a half. She's been away, working with MCC in another country. She's actually doing what the rest us us mean when we say "So and so is a Missionary in some-far-away-place."
And while my family and especially our Dad have missed her, we know that she is answering a call to serve. I know some of us are jealous, in a way, that we aren't the ones going, as scary as leaving the "civilized world" seems (until you realize that there are places more truly civilized than where we live). We are staying here, not having the "adventure" (nor the struggles) she is having.
She's learned a different language and dialect (there isn't a place on Earth that actually speaks the Spanish they teach us in school) and a different culture. She's worked with adults and children, some easy to get along with, some not. She hasn't "shoved God" on anyone, true missionaries work with and alongside the people, not over them. And she gets frustrated with her own limitations just like anyone else, but she doesn't have the luxury of sitting back and deciding to let "someone else" do it, she can't because she is that "someone else."
And so she struggles in a far-away-place. And she makes new friends with children at a home for abandoned children. And she experiences sadness when children we've never met get sent home to a bad situation. And she experiences triumph when a plan comes together and children get sponsors. And she experiences joy when some of those same children experience reconciliation with their families.
And still, she is far from home, except that through technology, we can at least see and talk to each other. We cannot touch or hug, hold or comfort.
I want her to know I love her and miss her. And I'm thankful for the women God has made her into, for her willingness to serve and for her beauty that is so much more than skin deep.