“Are you excited to be going back?”
That’s the question we’re asked most frequently these days. I know I shouldn’t read too much into it, nor stress over the repercussions of my response. The question is probably a conversation starter and an expression of curiosity. But, I have a tendency to think too much and to wonder what people want to hear. If I don’t say that I’m excited, will they wonder about me and my love for the people of our city? If I tell them I’m really excited, will they wonder if I don’t like the people here and I just want to get back to Portugal? Do they really want to know or this question in the same genre as asking someone, “How are you doing?”
For those who want to know, here is a true, and more complete, answer.
Yes! We’re excited to be going back to Portugal.
(1) We really believe that this is God’s assignment for us. We really believe that our work there matters. We have the best group of Prayer and Financial Partners in the world and we want to do this work with them for the glory of God, the good of Portugal and our own personal growth. (2) We love our colleagues in Portugal and are eager to work together as a team with them. (3) There are things we miss about Portugal.
No! We’re not excited to be going back.
(1) We really miss family and friends while we’re gone. And to be honest, modern technology sometimes makes is worse for us. We can see their faces on our computer screens, but that just reminds us that we’re separated and can’t get together. (2) Living as a foreigner is hard for us.
But, we’re more committed to the Kingdom than our comfort and therefore, we’re headed back. We’re headed back with both a smile and a tear. And, if you’re one of the people reading this, you’re probably the reason for that tear. We love you!