She said she hadn’t been home in eleven years and all I could feel was jealous.
No home assignments! No family drama! No need to prove that I am zealous.
No need to count churches planted, or promise that a movement will come;
No need to pretend to be native and perform in a dress with a drum.
She said she hadn’t been home in eleven years and I wondered what held her back.
Was it her fears, was it condescension, a fear of a community or family attack?
Nobody who’s not been away for work can really, truly understand,
How we struggle with each and every pernicious, competing demand.
Serving, serving, serving, fighting Satan at every turn.
He’d like nothing better than to see us burn.
So we take hands, we fellowship, we stay longer on our knees—
Knowing that the God of love hears all of our myriad pleas.
– A Missionary Who Never Went Back