A Farewell to Bogota

I don’t know about you, but when I have 100,000 things to do I like to sit down and write a blog post instead.  It’s like productive procrastination.

In 2 days movers are coming to pack up our house and load our things once again onto a giant truck, which will be loaded on a boat, and if all goes well, shipped to our new home in Arequipa Peru.

Aside from stress, I have a whole host of emotions going on inside me right now.

Of course there is excitement.  Yay, we are finally going to be “home!”  We’ve been on this journey to Peru for as long as I’ve known Nathaniel, and for him much longer than that.  Every single decision we’ve made in our marriage has been “for Peru.”  Pretty much everything we’ve ever bought has been because “we will need this in Peru.”  Every dream we’ve dreamed together has centered around, “how will this work in Peru?”  For the last 9 years, Peru has been this just slightly out of reach goal, and in just a few days we will be there, we will have reached our goal.

Which brings up my next emotion: nervousness.  I’ve been to Peru, and I’ve lived in South America, but I’ve never actually been to Arequipa, the place I am going to call home for a very long time.  I completely trust Nathaniel and we are confident that we are called there.  But I’m nervous.  Will I like it there?  Will we find a home that meets our needs?  What will our ministry be like?  What are the people like?  Will they receive us well?  Where are we going to go to church our first Sunday there? Will we be “successful” there?

I’m also nervous, and this is me being completely honest here, about my own heart.  For the last 8 years, if we were in a situation that was difficult or not ideal (living on a seminary budget, support raising, going to language school every day and leaving my kids with a nanny), I’ve always had the reassurance that this is just temporary.  Soon we will be on to the next bigger and better, the next adventure.  But now, we are going to be at that destination, the goal we’ve been waiting for.  From here on out, there won’t be a next thing.  How am I going to handle this if things are hard?  What’s it going to be like to realize that this is it, there is no temporary in this new situation?  I know my heart has a lot to learn about contentment and trust in the Lord, and I’m praying that He will meet me in my time of need when this habit of discontentment creeps up.

Sadness.  This is a very bittersweet time right now.  We’ve made some wonderful friends here in Bogota, both nationals and fellow missionaries.  Part of our hearts are going to be left behind here as we say goodbye to people who mean  a lot to us.  Not only that, but we’ve really had a good life here.  We live in a beautiful part of the city, in the same neighborhood as our team, and we are literally in and out of each other’s houses every day to borrow or return something, or meeting at the park so our kids can play.  Our church is also in this neighborhood which means we can participate in church ministries through out the week with ease.  Practically speaking, we have almost anything we could ask for easily accessible – from big grocery stores to a nice mall, movie theaters, and playgrounds – we are very comfortable.  Even this house is going to be hard to leave. It is spacious and clean and has more than met our needs during our time here.  I write these things not to brag, but to have a place that I can come back to to remember how the Lord blessed us during our time here, We are likely not to have the same luxuries in Arequipa, but I we have had this time, which I want to remember as a gift.

And of course, there is, Gratefulness. The Lord has been so good to us.  I need to remember that more, especially on days like today when I feel like the life of a missionary is so hard and so transient.  But really, how blessed we have been this past year.  We met our team, and have the most wonderful relationship with them.  We found our calling, a place we can go together.  We had our wonderful baby boy, and added two other sweet boys to our team too.  We have faced several trials and come out stronger, we have learned a little bit about how to live on the mission field, how to minister in Latin America, how to forgive, how to love, how to grow.  We are not the same people who boarded a plane to Bogota 20 months ago – I hope we are more mature and strong, and growing.

We still have our suitcases to pack, our friends to say goodbye to, even Nathaniel’s birthday to celebrate before we actually get on a plane to Lima, but as we are about to be in the throws of transition, I wanted to write one more time from Bogota.  This place will always be in my heart, and just as the Lord has walked us through our time here, I am confident that He will continue to go before us as we journey on to the next place.

One comment to A Farewell to Bogota

  • Emily  says:

    Wonderful post friend. Summed up my thoughts exactly. Glad we get to do this together!

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