Today there are many tears flowing down my face. My heart aches and I long to see my family. Today is Mothers Day and I am 8000 miles from my children. It has now been over 2 months since I’ve seen them. Never in our lives have we gone longer than 30 days and not seen one another. I know for some of you who live away from your families that 2 months is not a long time to not see one another. But for me it is by far my greatest challenge of being a foreign missionary.

Each day here in Africa I adjust more and more to days without water or power. I’ve adjusted to cold showers and sleeping listening to bugs that wish they could get through my net. However the one thing I don’t think will ever get easier is the adjustment away from my children and their families.

I have been a Mother 36 years this year and the journey has only gotten sweeter as the years have passed by. I love being a Mother just as much today as I did when Bryan and Dana were growing up. I was 16 when God trusted me with Bryan. I wasn’t much older when God sent me Dana. I had just turned 18 when she was born. I was so young and didn’t know the first thing about being a Mother, but the one thing I was sure of that hasn’t changed in 36 years is how deeply I love my children.

I remember so clearly the night I surrendered to the call of being a foreign missionary. I surrendered with all of me that night to full obedience to what God was asking of me. Yet, I also had to ask God to carry me through the process of leaving my children and their families. I knew within my own strength I could not leave them and would have to depend totally on God.

Not many children would allow their middle age Mothers to leave the country alone to go and serve in a 3rd world country where death and disease are rampant. Yet, Bryan and Dana have stood beside me all along the journey and gave me their love and encouragement to go and be obedient to the call God placed on my life.

Mothers Day is not celebrated here in Africa and although that is sad for the Mothers here, it has made my day a little easier. I was blessed to teach at church this morning and the one topic I had to stay away from was that it was Mothers Day back home. I knew I couldn’t talk about it without losing all composure and when I think about what the Mothers here have lived through and the children they have lost to death, I feel very selfish to share the heaviness of my heart when my children and their families are alive and well.

I thought about not writing this since it’s not encouraging or specifically about the ministry here, but then I realized that to write home about life here is to write home about all aspects of my life here. Although I do not write about it, I struggle daily with missing my family and have to ask the Lord to get me through another day without them. Don’t get wrong, I know I am in the center of Gods will serving here. I have not questioned at all that I made the right decision that this is where God called me to serve. However, I am not just a missionary, I am a Mother and a Grandmother and it is only natural to be sad when you can’t see your family. I would ask for your prayers today not only for me but for my children. I know this day is no easier for them than it is for me.

My sweet Momma has been in heaven 24 years and I still miss her. Oh I had such a wonderful Momma! She was kind and loving and tender. More importantly she was one of the godliest women I’ve ever known. She loved the Lord with all her being and although I didn’t become a Christian until after she had went home to heaven, her relationship with the Lord lived on in my life. I’ve known for many years that my life went certain directions because of the prayers my Momma prayed for me and I wonder if she ever thought the life she lived before me would be part of her daughter going to the foreign mission field.

When I think about the Godly impact my Momma and Daddy had on my life, it makes me search my own life to see if I am impacting my own children’s lives. Am I living a life before my children that will make an impact on their lives just as the impact my parents made on me?

Love to all,

Joy Breedlove

Missionary – East Africa