I often am asked, "What is the hardest part about missions?. And there can be many answers to that. But I would have to answer that the hardest thing about missions is seeing your children hurt or suffer because you have made the choice to be here. And that really is true for any parent. It is incredibly hard to watch your child hurt no matter who you are, where you live, or what you do in life.
Aiden is my tough child. He is resilient and goes through life happy. He is not whiny or one to be sensitive. But today, his little heart is breaking.
For the last month, we have been so blessed to have an incredibly sweet family, Micah & Katherine Schmidt, visiting. Most of the time when people come they leave their kids behind- partly due to the cost of bringing a family and partly because people are afraid to bring their children to Africa! So we are always happy when families visit, but this family has been extra special. Maybe because they are a big family like us (they have 5 kids!)....maybe because their kids are so close in age to ours...maybe because they homeschool....maybe because we are so similar in our philosophy of family and child raising. But I think more than any of that, the Lord has just so uniquely knit our hearts together. We are sad to see them go for so many reasons, but for me the hardest reason is because Aiden will have to say good bye to his new best little buddy Daniel who is 4 like Aiden.
I know you are thinking, "Really? Best buddies in only a month?". But I wish you could see them together. They are kindred spirits. I really feel like the Lord sent Daniel just for Aiden. For almost 2 years, Aiden hasn't been able to play with a 4 year or even 5 year old boy with out having to struggle through a language barrier. Or play cars with a little boys who looks like him. Or climb trees with a little boy he could giggle together with. And now that he has made such a sweet little friend, it will end as they leave for the States tomorrow. I didn't realize the sacrifice Aiden has made until now.
So today, unequivocally, I can say that the hardest part of missions is the hurt that your kids have to go through.