The missionary lifestyle involves lots of comings and goings. For your own family and for those around you. I remember when I was in Tanzania, there were some people who had been serving with various organisations for 10+ years, some almost 20. There were also those who were just there for as little as 6 months. Or those that you just overlapped with for only a month or two.
Friendships you make can last a lifetime. Although I was only there for two years, I am still in touch with people I worked with, 13 years ago. In the last year or so the few remaining ex-pats I knew have moved on and are now dotted all over the place but my local friends are mostly still there. As a result of that and studying at All Nations, I now have really good friends literally all over the world.
Friendships in that environment can seem like an effort though and sometimes not even worth it. Imagine, you constantly get close to someone or a family, only for them to move on a short while later, leaving a gap. Then you get to know someone else and it happens all over again. That is part of living in a missionary community and can be perceived as a downside especially when you have little ones who don't understand when their buddies are moving, not to come back again.
But when I consider the friends I am still in touch with from my time back in Tanzania, many of them are ones I only overlapped with for just a short time and I wouldn't trade those friendships for anything. In most cases we've travelled across the world to catch up or travel a bit together during the years that followed or to be guests at each other's weddings. So even though the short term investment didn't necessarily make sense ... the pay off has definitely been worth it!
Today we spent the afternoon and evening with a family that are staying in Coshocton for just a short while. It is a Bank Holiday and so they came over, the kids played well together in the garden and we enjoyed a meal this evening. They will only be here for a few more months and we will only be here til the end of the year but just for this short time we overlap and had a chance to build new friendships and learn a little from one another.
One piece of deliciousness that we shared today was a cheesecake recipe that one of our All Nations buddies, who is now living in North Africa, introduced us to. It's really easy, so yummy and contains absolutely no cheese whatsoever! The recipe is below.
- 6oz crushed ginger snaps
- 3oz butter melted
- small can condensed milk
- 1/4 pint double/whipping cream
- 2 lemons - finely grate rind, then squeeze
- Mix ginger snaps and butter
- Press into pie dish and chill
- Beat condensed milk & cream in bowl
- Add half lemon juice - mix some more
- Add remaining lemon juice - mix
- Pour over base & sprinkle with rind
- Chill (& final set) in refrigerator
A word of warning ... one slice might not be enough!!