My husband spent all last week on the eastern coast of Central America.
Sounds nice, right?
Except for the fact that he was on a mission trip...a CONSTRUCTION mission trip. In the course of a week, Jim and his team, finished a conference center on the missionary compound. They worked from sunrise to past sunset...every day. Such a hard trip...but such a rewarding trip.
And, ya know, we call the team members to the front of the church, and we pray over them before they go. Their names are added to prayer lists in every small group or Bible Study group.
But then what?
I think we sometimes forget that, for every person who goes on a mission trip, there are wives, husbands, children, parents, co-workers, and friends...who are left at home.
And, I can only speak for myself and our experiences, but let me just say this: spiritual warfare is alive and well, my friends.
Jim doesn't travel a lot anymore...but he used to. When our kids were little, he traveled more with his job. Every time he was gone, something around the house went wrong: the pilot light went out, a severe storm knocked out the power, one or more kid got the stomach virus, the car battery died, we had a flat tire, the water line to the ice-maker sprung a leak, and we woke up to water all over the kitchen floor, the garage door got stuck half-way and wouldn't go up or down (this has happened multiple times).
This ain't my first rodeo, so I was prepared for stuff like this.
What I was NOT prepared for was for our youngest child to be sick. What I was NOT prepared for was the call in the middle of the night that he was in the ER in a town 1 1/2 hours away. What I was NOT prepared for was for him to say, "MOM, please come...NOW."
But people prayed us through that situation, and it all turned out okay. I will write about it later. So stressful to handle on my own. So very thankful.
Jim made it home safely, and I am so very thankful for that.
But it was a hard week. And do you know how many people FROM MY CHURCH called or texted to check on me and Joshua while Jim was gone?
Before everyone gets their feathers all ruffled over the lack of concern from CHURCH MEMBERS...or if they think I'm bad-mouthing my church, or 'church' in general (I'm not...love my church), think about the people in your own churches...the ones who have gone on missions trips, and left their families at home; the single moms (or dads) who live day in and day out with little or no interaction from others; the friends or neighbors who travel for business, and leave family members at home.
Do you call them? Do you offer to babysit or go to the store or take a meal or mow a lawn or take an elderly parent to the doctor...for them, when they are gone?
Or, I don't always.
Our little group of wives, we checked on each other this week. The main thing we all agreed on was that life was lonely without our husbands. Even those who would say their husbands don't really help much around the house, or with the kids...the fact that they COULDN'T be counted on, knowing that they had the entire responsibility of EVERYTHING on them...for a week? It was hard.
There were car issues, health issues, and one wife was hospitalized with something serious.
And my son was in the ER at 3 a.m.
Check on your people...and on the ones who don't HAVE any people.
We need each other.
"Therefore encourage one another and one another, just as you also are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11