Wednesday, June 3, 2015

If only I could have my cake and eat it too

To our two amazing mothers who spent the last three weeks visiting us at our centre here in Mozambique,

The last three weeks have been like a dream, like having a taste of the best of both worlds. Having two of the people that we love and have missed the most here with all of our girls.

As we drove away from the airport, I sobbed. God, I can't take it anymore, I'm beside myself wrapped up in emotion. I'm not strong enough for this; I want to go back to Canada. I don't want to live in a country so far away anymore. Why did you choose me, why did you choose us? You must have made a mistake, we're just not cut out for this kind of work. I don't want to be thousands of miles away from the ones I love and the friends I cherish most deeply. I don't want to miss another best friend's wedding, family reunion or birthday party. I don't want to miss another simple coffee-date with an old friend or laughing with my sister.

But I want all my seventy-three little girls. I want to see their smiling faces everyday and be hugged by a crowd so big all I can do is fall to the ground as they push me over in every direction. I want to hear my name called by dozens of little voices every time I step foot on the playground. I want to feel alive and living everyday of our life to the extent God has purposed. I want to see broken, abused and neglected children loved back to life before my very eyes. I want to see the poverty cycle broken and families strengthened. I want to see faith break through in love, hope, peace and joy. I want to kiss our girls goodnight and cover them in prayers for a better tomorrow. I want to fall asleep in a sandy bed with dirty feet the second my head hits the pillow full of exhaustion from an incredible day of the broken made beautiful. 

In other words, I want my cake and I want to eat it tooHaving you here has been like having a cake and eating it too: living here in Mozambique where we know we have been called and getting to have some of those dearest to our hearts right here with us. 

Nothing has brought me more joy than getting to share our lives with you here. The girls were almost as excited as us getting to pick you up at the airport when you first arrived screaming "Vovo Judy and Vovo Margie" (meaning Grandma Judy and Grandma Margie).



We loved watching them get to know you as you led activities, helped me prepare snacks, planned parties, and just spent time with them covering them with grandma hugs and kisses. I'm not sure what was more touching and heartwarming, watching you fall in love with them or them fall in love with you. 




Watching you say your goodbyes this morning broke my heart many times over. And nothing touched my heart more than when some of my shy teenagers heard you were leaving today and made their way over to give you a hug goodbye and ask to pray for you.



It truly made for an amazing three weeks I could never forget. We couldn't help but string together a little video of our time here together:


Mom, thanks for staying up late and watching shows with me just to sneak in a bit of extra time together and for jumping out of bed in the morning even when you hate mornings just because you could hear me making noise in the kitchen and wanted to steal a few more minutes together. Saying goodbye to your mom is never easy, when she also happens to be your best friend, it feels like being run over by a six ton truck.

Thank you for showing our girls what a healthy example of family looks like, for showing them what love looks like. Thank you for raising us in such a loving way and setting such a high standard that we could only ever hope or dream of for our girls. 

Judy, as we sat in the car at the airport trying to hold on to the last few moments of fleeting time, you whispered the profound words, "Before I came, I didn't understand why you guys love it so much, now I understand. Now I understand." 

When we left Canada last August teary eyed and emotionally exhausted from saying goodbyes, I was somehow under the delusion, that as time went on, it would get easier to be away from home. Moms, family, friends, loved ones, we miss you now more than ever and yet with each passing day, we are reminded more than ever that God has called us here for such a time as this.

Until we meet again, with love always, 
Natasha & Evan

Ps. please come visit!

Pss. A few of my favourite pictures from when we surprised our moms with a trip to Swaziland









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