A few thoughts from Melissa

Dear Family and Friends,

A quote from Rachel: “I have so much happiness in my heart and so much joy in my belly!” as we were landing in the United States. She said this once before when we were on our way to R.V.A., after not having seen the boys for several weeks.

This sentiment has nothing to do with this place (she has no memory of the U.S.) but rather with the people who are here. There are only a handful of family members she remembers, her only connection to the U.S. While there are some “things” that we have been looking forward to here in the States (ie. working flush toilets and stores just down the road), these are merely conveniences. While we get many a “Welcome Home” from our loving friends, there is not a full sense of “home” here in the US for us. Only Jon has lived more of his life here in the
U.S. than in Africa. But Africa doesn’t completely feel like “home” either. So where is home?

Heaven is our home and we long for it. But once again, it’s not the place, but the people that we long for. Meeting Jesus and the Father face to face and wonderful reunions with our loved ones who have already arrived. That’s what we look forward to during our year long “home” assignment here in the U.S.–reunions with our friends and family who have loved us and supported us for many long years. You are our connection to this place. Who really cares about flush toilets and shopping!

So while we readjust to all the many changes, a very stressful process, it is you, our friends, who make it all worthwhile. So thanks to all of you who have already welcomed us so lovingly in the past few days with hugs and treats, and thanks in advance to those whom we will continue to meet up with in the next days and months for your words of welcome and encouragement. It is SO very good to be back and to be able to see you and reconnect. We have missed you!

While we do have nervous butterflies as well, for the most part, “we have much happiness in our hearts and joy in our bellies!” at the prospect of reuniting with as many of you as we possibly can!

All for Jesus,

Melissa for us all

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