—by Eliza Askins
Three years ago, we pulled up our roots as a family of 7 after parting with many possessions, saying goodbye to family and friends. Within the first year away, we welcomed a baby, made new friends, and enjoyed visits from our family. After calling Hong Kong home for two years, our family of 8 once again purged possessions, said goodbye to friends, and pulled up the roots. Easter Sunday we started placing our possessions in a new place, met our first new Taiwanese friends, and planted seeds anticipating them to take root. For a year we grew.
Three months ago, while our roots were not severed, they were temporarily transplanted “home” for home service. We have received very warm welcomes. Many people have provided for our needs of housing, transportation, meals, and clean laundry. Thank you to the friends and family in all three countries for caring for us. Thanks be to God for His provisions.
As I stood in front of the mirror the 3 weeks into home service preparing for church, another presentation, I paused. I really looked at me. I stood in Texas but wore an Indian outfit. I took a bite of a banana, turning up my nose because it wasn’t as sweet as those I’ve eaten for the past 3 years. I scurried my children out the door to a large van with ample seatbelts and car seats, unlike having to wait for a bus in the heat or downpour in Taiwan. Then my husband drove us to church instead of a taxi driver. And, as always, the Lord has kept us safe whether it was my husband or a stranger behind the wheel. And finally, we stepped into a sanctuary and joined other Lutherans in chorus and worship.
I look back on the 3 months we’ve been in the states wondering where the time has gone, and still eagerly anticipating time with family and friends we haven’t seen in 3 years. These months have been a time of growth and memories. We’ve learned to love and live in Christ’s grace and forgiveness. There have been many smiles and some tears. And still there are more to come. The time seemed so long, and now it has not been enough to catch up 3 years away from family. But, the Lord has granted us wilder full memories.
At the end of the day, the good and the bad of any place is minuscule. The Lord watches over all keeping us in His care, feeding us, supporting us through brothers and sisters in the faith. The fruits, the clothes, the cars, the buildings, none of that matters . . . it is being rooted in the body of Christ that does matter now and for all eternity.