Missionary life can be both really hard and really exciting and fulfilling, all at the same time. There are SO many highlights to share with you, but today I am feeling the effects of one of the hardest parts of being a missionary. And the best analogy I've heard (from a friend) to describe it is revolving doors.
Let me take you back to the beginning: I volunteer for an organization here in Tanzania called Global-Effect. Under Global-Effect is Hope International School, where I teach. Global-Effect provides housing, airfare, and visas for the teachers of the school, and we raise support for our living expenses. So each of us, not having met before, travel to Moshi, to live and volunteer here for 10 months. We come from all over the world, and most-likely would not have met each other if it was not for our connection through Global-Effect and Hope.
So imagine these 9 strangers, coming together in a foreign country, living in the same house, working together, grocery shopping together, hanging out together, etc. Basically, we go from not knowing each other, to spending (almost) every waking moment together! It takes a while to build these relationships, but when we do, we form family-like bonds. We live life together as a family unit, and end up as great friends.
Now, back to present time. We have finished up our school year, and have been preparing to make the trip back to America. Some of us, just for a couple of months. Others, for an unknown amount of time, maybe never getting the chance to return to Tanzania. Our family, who has been through thick and thin together, has to be broken up. There are SO many emotions- thankfulness for this time together and for the friendships made, being heartbroken because you know that you won't have this time of doing life all together again, sadness because of the inevitable goodbyes, etc.
But, I also remember that I am returning back to those who I originally had to say goodbye to- my family and friends in America, who I haven't seen in almost a whole year. I get excited to say hello to that set of loved ones, even though my heart still hurts from being away from my "family" in Tanzania. I get to spend time with them, and catch up on life. And, in a couple months, I will once again be saying goodbye to them, and hello to my friends in Tanzania, some who I've already built relationships with, others who I've never met but who I know I will, once again, build friendships with.
Hence, the revolving doors of missionary life. Whenever you say hello to one group of loved ones in one part of the world, it means you're saying goodbye to another. And whenever you say goodbye, you get to say hello. Though it is hard, and there are MANY tears shed, it makes me happy to have so many friends in different parts of the world to connect and grow with. I think God made these doors to be revolving so that we get the joy of saying HELLO after a heartwrenching GOODBYE.
What are your thoughts on this? Are you a missionary going through the revolving doors too? I'd love to connect with you in the comments!
Much Love, Allie