Parents of Missionaries
3 Jul 2017
My Mum passed away last year, and just a couple of weeks ago my sisters and I started to sort through her things. We found some hand-written notes of a talk she must have given years ago at our home church, St Philips Caringbah, when my husband and I were in our first few years as missionaries in Nepal. I never knew that she had given this talk, so it was precious for me to read her words, and my pleasure to share them with you…
A Missionary Mum by Beverley Quinsey
As I was writing the heading, the first four letters of missionary jumped out at me. MISS. Before Suzanne and Jonathan went to Nepal my thoughts were: I’m going to MISS them. Terribly. I had concerns and fears for them too. Although I was sure Nepal was where they were meant to be, they were called individually before they met each other. I know they had prepared themselves, diligently learning as much about the culture, and what to expect, as they could. But this was my daughter and her family going to one of the ten poorest countries in the world. So there were doubts, fears, concerns.
I would like to share with you three areas of concern I had before they left.
They moved so far away, and committed to ten years with the first home assignment after three. It is a few years now since they left, in September 1998. We thought we might visit them in 1999, when they had been there for about ten months, but we could only go for a week and it seemed too much to deal with at the time. Remembering that they had bought return flights and had not needed to use the return legs, they, amazingly, were able to fly to Singapore at no extra cost and meet us for a holiday there. After Suzanne and Jonathan decided on the dates to depart Nepal, they discovered the timing was just in good time, right before the tickets expired. God knew all about it!
Suzanne with her kids Keenan and Talia, (then later Jonathan) came back here to have their third child, Jethro, in 2000. They stayed for three months, during which time we were able to get to know Jethro as a baby.
One of my other daughters, Ruth, visited them in Nepal at the end of 1999. She was able to tell me first-hand all the kinds of things a mum wants to know. What was it really like? Well, she wasn’t overjoyed and wouldn’t like to live there and deal with all the frustrations, but she had a great time, despite feeling sick and even discovering she was pregnant while on the trip!
So God has graciously overturned my concerns about missing them in these first three years.
Another concern, especially in a mother/daughter relationship, was easy and affordable communication. When Suzanne was only living in Melbourne, which seemed far away at first, I could phone anytime, fly down from time to time or post little treats and surprises. But in Nepal, in the third world, would anything work or run smoothly there? Well, as it turns out, things don’t run smoothly but, yes, things do work there. Mail gets there in one to two weeks. Email is almost instant (especially as of last night when we were hooked up to the internet for the first time). Parcels cost a lot but, so far, most have arrived without too much missing!! The phone is always clear! Videos; I got a second video from Nepal yesterday. Renee, (one of my granddaughters) watched it with me and at the end she said she wished they were real and here, not just on the screen! No, I wish they were real!
I do still miss them, particularly on special occasions with the family. But today’s technology certainly allows me to keep in touch, and up to date with their events.
God graciously overturned my concerns about communication.
The third concern I had was health. Some of the family had allergies and asthma, and Jethro was just a baby. This was a big concern for me before they went, but since then it has become an even bigger one. Suzanne and Jonathan have had to take the children to the hospital on a couple of occasions They go to the best hospital there, but you avoid it if you can. Doctors can be well qualified, but the hospital itself is not the place to be. Someone must always stay with the patient day and night and keep on the alert for wrong procedures, hygiene etc. There is waste piled up outside the door, and your neighbour patient may have a contagious disease. But God has graciously provided Christian friends that are doctors, who advise them where and what to do. Even when Talia burnt her hand at their house during a Christmas party, a doctor was one of the guests and able to help.
And so my last concern has been eased.
There you have it, just three of the concerns that I had before my daughter and her family went to Nepal, but God has shown me that I need not fear for he is with them, and with me. I have been blessed by the way St Phils people continue to be abundantly supporting them by prayer, finance and encouragement, helping them to keep on going through language learning and many frustrations.
We hope to visit them later this year, as they would love to show us their home, which is now Nepal! Keenan, when asked where do you come from, says Australia. Talia’s reply is Nepal, and of course Jethro, if he could answer, would say Nepal too.
A missionary mum doesn’t really miss out, that’s a big mistake. God graciously replaces my concerns and takes me into his comfort zone of peace and trust, giving me many blessings along the way