My wallpaper picture on my laptop has been the same ever since I came back to the Africa Mercy this January. In years past, I enjoyed switching between pictures of cute African kids and good friends from back at home. I just don’t have the heart to change it this year. The picture is of my family taken this past Thanksgiving. I love and miss them so much… There is something comforting to know when I open up my laptop, there a picture of all of us together, even though a ocean separates us. They know me and still love me... they are my biggest supporters in all aspects of my life as a missionary. I receive boxes in the mail of chocolate chip cookies, gum, and salsa, and most recently shoes.
My parents sent me these shoes at my request… I tried to buy some online and I accidently ordered track shoes with spikes included. So my parents were up to a challenge of finding me new sneakers. My parents, affectionately known as, Papa-doe and Mother Green, have blessed not only me, but also many crewmembers with mail. They send me the Sunday morning comics along with snacks (that I share with friends) as well boxes on the container full of Mexican food. When I’m working out in my new sneakers, I think of my parents. They are hard working and supportive of their children- they keep us stable when we are running toward our dreams.
Next pair of shoes just came last week… still getting compliments of my bright yellow birkies from my brother and sister- (skip the formality of “in-law”). Jeff and Kara were worried when they heard I kept slipping in the operating room. The combination of my old crocs and freshly mopped theater floors were not ideal. Kara and I have a special relationship because in a family of educators, we’re outnumbered being the nurses. She loved this brand of shoes and I figured I followed in her footsteps, why not try her shoes out! I thank God for Jeff & Kara, for their love and support as I work each day in the operating room, with my feet firmly planted to the floor.
Now, these last pair of shoes I received just days before heading back to join the ship in South Africa. My best friend and my sister, Robyn, gave me these cowboy boots. I am ashamed to say, being Texan, these were my very first boots to own and I was not going to just leave them in a closet. Robyn always came into town before I left overseas to make sure my to-do list is complete and my bags are packed even if I waited until the night before. I couldn’t fit the boots so I sent them on the container and they have been a BIG (as BIG as Texas) hit on the ship. I just have to laugh as well as thank God for a wonderful sister that thinks a girl needs her cowboy boots in Africa. Right now, all I wish I could do is to jump on a plane and be in Dallas today. Robyn is leaving for a two-year stint with New Tribes Mission in Papua New Guinea as a secondary school teacher. She’s going to the “other side of the world” and we can now swap missionary stories. I can’t wait to see how God works… and if only she had room in her luggage for some cowboy boots.
I miss them... Papa-doe, Mother Green, Jeff & Kara, and Robyn everyday as I look at the picture, but all it takes is for me to look down at my feet and know my family is with me every step of the way.