A few thoughts as I prepare to take flight to one of my favorite places to be...
In only a couple weeks my feet will be hitting the Kenyan soil just outside the doors of Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Niarobi, Kenya. I have been on a dozen previous trips to this country and every time I pass through the airport doors and into the bustling mass of matatus and people, I have the distinct feeling I have arrived "home". The first few trips I interpreted this feeling to mean that it was certainly my calling to live and serve full time in Kenya. In all honesty, I would be more than delighted to do so, but it was here in the US that I discovered why this feeling came upon me each time I stepped into the diesel filled, night air of this country.
As a person who loves to stand with those who find themselves in the most difficult of circumstances, I have found that anywhere I step into a situation to serve " the least of these" I recognize that same sense of "feeling at home." Whether walking through the Mission doors or stepping into the Hope House dining room the same feeling instantly comes upon me. When I step into homes where sorrow sleeps soundly but the children have no beds I feel at home. Standing in the rain listening to our homeless friend who hauls his baggage around place to place ...I feel at home. Dropping off milk and cereal to a family with no table on which to eat it... Navigating dark, narrow apartment hallways to deliver a few smiles on Christmas Eve... Giving up an extra bed in our house to one without...
Every one of these situations and so many more bring with them the sense of " home". Over the years I have come to realize that feeling this way upon arrival in Kenya as well as so many other places is because I am serving in the manner and place to which God has personally called me. Whether it be repairing a well in Africa or delivering water to a homeless family living in a park, I have found my " home".
As followers of Christ we are all called to serve and love but the specific calling on each of us is not the same. Perhaps your "home mission field " is at IMB or a local hospital. Maybe God has called you to minister to children or sit with the elderly. It could be that you cannot physically serve others at all...could it be that your calling is to sit at the feet of Jesus and battle for those who do? Whatever and wherever God has called you to is your " home" here on earth.
I am a soul eagerly anticipating the feeling of being "home" when I pass through those airport doors; as we serve in this world, may we all remember we are foreigners here. This is not our home; we are just passing through!