It has been happening for a long time now. Aid workers have been leaving Lawra. Some return. Some do not. For the last several months, I have been saying "Good-bye." Sometimes the people leaving were close friends. Sometimes they were acquaintances. They all have one thing in common, they left.
I left, too. I left my passport country to live here in Lawra. I said "Good-bye" to family. I said, "Good-bye" to friends. I said "Good-bye to worship in English. I said "Good-bye" to being at weddings and funerals and life celebrations. I said "Good-bye" to a lifestyle.
I'm tired of saying, "Good-bye." I did it this past week. I said, "Good-bye" to close friends whom I won't see again until at least November. Saying "Good-bye" is the life of a missionary. People come and go. I come and go. Nothing ever stays the same. There's no "status quo" among aid workers in my area. We are always in a state of flux, as I imagine it is with most missionaries and relief workers.
When I arrive in the USA in a few weeks, there will be a ton of, "Hellos" and, "Aren't you glad to be home?" Home? What is home? I don't have one in the US. I live out of a suitcase, borrow a phone and borrow a car. And, just as I have changed during the time I have been away, so have my family and friends. Again, a state of flux. Even worship - in English - will be different because new music will be played, new songs sung. I don't get much of that in Lawra! So, again, I say "Good-bye" to what was familiar...and I try to have an open mind and embrace all that is new while secretly wishing for familiarity.
I will see a lot of people when I am in the US, plenty of people I know, some will be new friends. Again, there will be plenty of "Good-byes" there, too, especially when I will be in a place for a day or two or three. Except for family and a few friends, the comings and goings will be filled with those "Hellos" and "Good-byes."
And, you know what? Today, I am tired of saying, "Good-bye." Yet, it is a part of my life. A BIG part. So, I will get some sleep and tomorrow morning I will probably feel much better about the situation. And I will take comfort in knowing that the LORD is always near, never leaving, never changing, always the same.
Follower of Christ, Cross Cultural Worker, presently serving Christ in the Lawra area of the Upper West Region of Ghana.