I love this time of my life! I believe I am where God wants me, doing the things He wants me to do. It is expensive, though. There are costs that people aren't aware of. Costs that are provided by the local church for the pastor, but not in the case of a missionary living in Lawra, Ghana. Every little thing, or big thing, I need for ministry, for office supplies, transportation, continuing education, insurance, retirement...everything...all funds need to be raised and continue to come. If not, I would be heading home.
But, there are other costs, too. Over the last 4 1/2 years, I have shed tears over these costs. The cost of not being able to attend a dear friend's funeral. I have had a few very close friends die since I have been in Ghana. When my neighbor in New Brighton, Nancy, died, I think part of me died with her. I still think of her when I have tea...I would watch the sugar melt on the spoon. Dee Dee died a couple of years later. She was my encourager, my prayer warrior. She knew me in good times and in very, very bad times and loved me through them all, speaking the Truth in love. Graduations of my nephew and close friends. Illnesses of family members, some serious. Family picnics. Oh, engagements. And, babies of others. Moving of pastors. Welcoming new pastors. And, weddings.
I was looking through Abby's wedding pictures. And, I started to cry. She was a beautiful bride. Joe is a Godly man. They are a wonderful couple. And, on their special day, I was half a world away. Praying for them and their new life together. Being so proud of them. Wishing I was with them in person instead of in spirit.
Yes, the monetary cost of sending a missionary overseas is great. But, the non-monetary costs are even greater. I am feeling it today.