Missionaries are fervently instructed to be “ALL THERE,” when they are on the field. I understand this with my head, but with all children, in-law children, siblings, parents and our one and only grandchild in the States while we were in Ecuador, I found that instruction to be virtually impossible. And, I dare say, all of the missionaries who had children and grandchildren AWAY were in the same boat.
Near the end of our first year on the field, our youngest daughter and our only grandchild — who was a few weeks away from turning 3 years old — flew into Guayaquil to spend a week with us. Oh, the anticipation of that visit, and oh, oh, oh, the agony of taking them back to the airport a week later.
In the days after they left, I made a list of new things I had learned about little Allie Grace during that visit. Things that I knew would likely change before I’d see her again, but things that were dear to my heart during our week together. As you read this list, perhaps it will motivate you to pray for a missionary you know on the field right now who is separated from loved ones.
- Allie Grace is the only person I know with a really CUTE passport picture.
- Allie will go along with almost anything if you put the word “princess” somewhere in the activity, i.e. “Let’s get in your princess car seat.” “Princesses always use the potty.” Etc. etc.
- She does not like it when her Granddaddy “cuts the faces off” when he’s cleaning the fish they’ve caught.
- Allie’s favorite colors are pink and purple.
- Allie is fearless on a playground.
- She loves baths, bedtime stories and her new red dress.
- She can spot a bug or a dog from a very long distance.
- Her favorite songs at the moment are: “Bare Necessities,” “Whistle While You Work,” “Some Day My Prince Will Come,” “Jesus, Lamb of God,” and “Who Let the Dogs Out?” (quite a variety!)
- She is very good at making pancakes and frosting birthday cakes.
- She loves hats and does an amazing job of walking in high heels.
- Singing and dancing come very naturally to her.
- Allie loves ham . . . and peas . . . and corn.
- Allie knows 3 new Spanish words: “Hola,” “Aqui,” and “Gracias.”
- Her favorite hand to hold is her Grandmother’s.
- She now understands the concept of a mountain and thinks Granddaddy’s roads are bumpy.
Actually, my list had 32 items on it, but you get the idea. Allie will turn 16 this fall. She has been joined by 11 other grandchildren in our family — all dearly loved and “precious in our sight.” This, though, was a vivid week during our time on the mission field.
“. . . May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other.” Genesis 31:49 (A constant prayer of mine during our years in Ecuador).