Here I am, in Colorado, at Missions Training International, for a week of de-briefing my three and a half years in Portugal. I'm with about twenty other missionaries returning from countries like Ethiopia, Haiti, Russia, and the like. We're all processing the emotions of leaving America to make a foreign culture a home, and then to return. There are a lot of tears here. I think the Holy Spirit lives in the places where our tears run free. He loves to love us. Jesus has loved me so creatively this week.
My second day here, I looked up from the juice bar to find my friend Delice standing in front of me. I met Delice a year ago in Portugal, when she turned up in my kitchen for our Thursday night dinner and Bible study. Delice is like an older sister to my dear teenage friends, Andrea and Olivia. Since she was visiting Portugal that Thursday, she joined them both, and landed in my apartment for the evening. I remember her bright eyes and her passionate words about her Jesus. And her incredible taste in music.
Jesus loved me so much this week by giving me a Delice to hug. She is working here at MTI, caring for missionary kids (really well, I might add, because she was one). It's so nice to spend time with someone who's seen the inside of my Portugal--especially the Portugal that was my kitchen on those Thursday nights. I am so loved.
Thursday, August 31
Wednesday, August 30
During my last days in Portugal I stayed with my dear friends (they are family), the Bordens. The night before my flight I stayed up all night to try to get my body back on American time. (And because I was still sorting through all those piles of files from my apartment in Sao Joao.) I was desperately trying to pack up my life in as few bags as possible. If Superman hadn't walked into the living room when he did, I'd still be in the Borden's living room blankly staring at all of my stuff, in a foggy haze. Lisa picks up the story about her Superman, here on her beautiful blog.
Pray for these sweet Bordens: Lisa, Byron, Colin, and Heather. They are on a plane right now for furlough in California, after packing up their whole life and sending it ahead of them to Tanzania.
Sunday, August 20
I used to hate cats. Then one day Jane brought home a little kitty named, "Gus," and he won my heart. I cried like a baby the day I had to give him away to a new Mama, on account of my leaving Portugal. And then I made a ridiculous tribute to him here: Gus the Cat has a Myspace.
I miss Gus. I hope he'll be in heaven with me one day, chatting up a storm with his incessant meows. What do you's reckon about pets and eternity?