Thick Skin and a Soft Heart

GreeceRVA students come back on Saturday and then we will be full speed ahead into 3rd term. We had our staff in-service today and our RVA chaplain, Steve, shared with us on the topic of resiliency. He started the talk by listing off the names of each of the RVA staff families that we have said goodbye to since last July. And it took a looong time. Those were not just our co-workers and teammates, but our friends… some of them really close friends – some of their departures planned, some not. That’s not to mention all of the seniors we said goodbye to last July, too. I just wanted to sit there and cry. Then I thought about all the goodbyes we had to say this past December when we left Texas to come back to Kenya for another 2.5 years. And I wanted to cry even more.

Steve’s point was in order to thrive in an environment of constant transition (i.e. the mission field!), we must develop into resilient people. He went on to define a resilient person – “A resilient person is someone who continues to grow deeper, stronger, wiser, and more rooted in faith through the challenges and trials of life.” It really challenged me. A former missionary who had lived at RVA for many years gave Steve this advice before moving to Kenya – “You need to have thick skin and a soft heart.” So true! Living in such close proximity to each other, working together, going to church together, EVERYTHING together. Saying goodbye over and over again. It’s really hard sometimes! We continue to learn the art of having thick skin, yet hearts that are still soft.

Thank you for praying for us and for listening to me as I express some of the emotions we experience while serving overseas. Always humbled that you give so sacrificially, which allows us to do what we do here in Kenya. 🙂

Allyson for all of us crazies

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