The True Heroes of the Mission Field

“Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.” Psalm 71:18

 

My biggest fans have been, and will always be, my parents. No matter what any of us kids wanted to do in life, they encouraged us and stood on the sidelines cheering for us.
Now it’s my turn to cheer for them.

There are many difficult things about being a missionary overseas. Unfamiliar food, a different culture, driving on the other side of the road, constant heat, and trying to find clothes to fit our kids who seem to grow overnight. But by far the hardest thing I face here is the separation from those I love.

As hard as that is for me, it’s just as hard on my parents!

Our kids were nine and seven years old when we left to serve with Mission Aviation Fellowship in Indonesia. Imagine what it was like for my parents as they said goodbye to their grandkids knowing they would only see them every two years. It was a herculean feat of great love!

Sarah (left) and Ben (right) saying hello to their grandparents, Dave and Phyllis Dayton. Photo by Debbie Klynstra.

I try to keep them up to date with pictures and anecdotes, but I know the distance leaves a hole in their hearts. And not having them near leaves a hole in our lives as well. Grandparents are a treasure and there is so much to learn from them. When we’re together, I love seeing my kids spoiled as only grandparents can do. They just hold a special place in my children’s lives.

My parents helped us in any way they could as we prepared to move, always investing in our lives no matter where we lived. The kids are now 14 and 12 and already taller than their grandma. And my parents have missed the little milestones—all the centimeters along the way. They’ve faced empty seats at holidays and missed out on countless school programs.

They never complain, though. They never ask us to come home or make us feel guilty for being far away. They just remain on the sidelines, waving their pompoms and praying for us.

Do you know a missionary family who’s serving overseas? Pray for the parents and grandparents back home who are missing their adult children and grand kids. Let’s cheer these heroes on and lift them up before the Lord often.

2 Comments

  • Avatar Gra says:

    Thank you for sharing, we live in the middle East with three small children, two were born here.
    God bless.
    Ps: we are from two different countries, it’s a little hard to visit family very often.:(

  • Avatar Dave & Phyllis Dayton says:

    Chris, Deb, Sarah & Ben , Lots of Love to you , so thankful we can stay close in touch, phone calls, texts, e-mails. We miss you and are always in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Dad , Mom, Pop & Gram

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