As strangers and aliens

*****

In the last few weeks, I have been looking forward to going back home after a few years of ministry training in London. This influenced the way I spent every day, making use of every opportunity and every conversation I had. I knew that soon I wouldn’t be with my dear friends and church family. And still, I know I didn’t fully say goodbye to all of them or serve them the best way possible.

Going back to Kenya meant I wasn’t going to settle in London. I had to turn down anything beyond this day. And in all this, I have been reminded to live in light of the glorious future that awaits us with the Lord Jesus. The hope of eternal life has been a source of great joy and comfort to me especially as I leave those I love behind. I have longed for that eternal future, I desire to be at home with the Lord and with all my dear friends and family even the ones I’m yet to meet.

But I’m reminded to live as a stranger on the way home even after going back to Kenya. You see though I might be there for a couple more years it’s still not my home. No, in the words of the apostle Peter ( 1 Peter 2:11), I’m a stranger and alien in this world en route the new creation, my true eternal home.

Rather I should use every day, every opportunity and every conversation to prepare myself and those I will be serving for that future. For heaven is my true home and there’s nothing I want more in life than to see my dear friends and family there.

The call for every Christian is to be a good and faithful ambassador to our Lord and Saviour, a true patriot as a citizen of heaven. And my prayer is that like Paul I would fully give myself to the work of ministry back in Kenya as that’s what will last and because God’s work is not in vain, 1 Cor 15:58:

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15. 

Please pray with me on this. And to those left behind, my dear church family and friends, until we meet again here or in our eternal home may our Lord keep you safe by his Word.

To those in Kenya, I happen to like chai and would be overjoyed to catch up with you and hopefully share our hope in Jesus.

*****

Goodbyes

It’s painful to imagine that I may never see some of these dear friends, my church family and the place that has been home these last few years. At times I wonder if I know what I’m doing. I ask myself why things have to change.

But what a joy to know that this is not the end. It’s the beauty of the hope we share in Jesus. To know that though we are separated by distance we have an eternal future together. The blessing of our church family here is but a taster of our true eternal reality.

It’s an amazing hope that frees us to enjoy the blessings God gives us now and endure the challenges without worrying about missing out. After all, we have a whole lifetime together. An unending adventure with the God who made the oceans and carved the mountains.

I feel greatly privileged to know that as I leave family and my best friends behind I have family and friends waiting ahead. It’s such a blessing to know that wherever we go we have a family as Christians. The world though not our home is full of dear brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers and grandparents in our shared faith.

In the words of our dear King:

29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. Mark 10.

So we really never say goodbyes as Christians. It’s more like see you soon when the Lord allows before seeing you forever in our shared eternal future.

#leavingfamilybehind #countdown