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Saturday, 6 June 2015

It Is Not The Place; It Is The People Who Make It Home


I am glad to finally be back in Honduras.  It's home for me but unlike other places that I have visited from April-end May 2015, most people I know in Honduras are just acquaintances and perhaps, just a handful of new friends.  Friendships in a new nation takes time. Just before I left for my 6-week trip to Asia, an Honduran (new) friend bought me a single-cup tea set.  6 weeks later, I unwrapped it and use it.  This thoughtful gift has made me happy despite losing a loved one in recent days or when encountering ministry challenges.  Nothing like a cup of Earl Grey tea, and bible verses to soothe the soul and set some perspectives right.

Psalm 34: 8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 23
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

It is unlike being in Singapore, my birth-nation that's turning a big 50 this August.  I have my parents, sisters, brother-in-law and nieces who hug and kiss as a form of "Glad to have you back".   My mum cooks all my favorite food and friends are mindful to treat me to meals that I have missed. All my closest friends who are extremely busy people make time to meet with me, even if to encourage, be encouraged and pray together.  We hug as we say our goodbyes.  

It is unlike Texas, my transit nation where immigration officers can be friendlier to visitors to USA.  It's only when I finally see the sometimes sleepy-eyed, wide smiling faces of the elderly Pages that I think I am home.  And thankfully, I have a few Texan friends who welcome me back with huge Texan hugs and some who treat me to huge Texan meals.  It's the Southern hospitality that shines and touches me.

It is unlike a small Middle East nation, one of my favorite Asian transit nation and destination. Again, I am home wherever there is some form of honor given to a guest.  And for some friends who treat me like family, it means that I am allowed to help make the family meals or wash the dishes.  

It is unlike another South-East Asian nation, where I suddenly found myself with new "brothers and sons, sisters and daughters".  I love the mutual respect we give each other.

It is unlike Ghana in West Africa, where staying with a family means I am invited to join their dawn prayer meetings daily and have special escort when I decide to walk around the neighborhood.  Caring for me takes on a new priority even when the heads of the family lead busy lives.

Home is not the place itself with its familiar furnishings but being with people who mutually care, encourage, love and honor you. Technically, home can be anywhere.

These earthly "homes" are really temporary, fleeting but precious moments in life.  I need a real home, a constant home and that home for me is in God.  When no one quite gets the direction I am taking, or fail to understand my offer of care or encouragements; when love, time and talents are taken for granted, or when honor is not given...what should I do?

Yes, running Home to God has always been the right action.  God is always good and faithful.  Hallelujah!

At home,

Rachel