Susan Rodgers

Monday, December 22, 2008

Home for the Holidays

I’m experiencing a phenomenon. This is the first time in seven years in Africa that I’ve not felt acutely homesick during the Christmas season. In fact, 2008 has been the first year that I’ve not felt twinges of wistfulness to be in the States nearly every Sunday.

Since I’m an MK (missionary kid), “home” has always been a relative term. I’ve lived in more than 20 different houses, so there is no specific place I think of when I hear the song, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Yet being here in such a vastly different place, I found myself aching to be in the States during this time of year.

But something has changed, and being a true Ohlerking, I’ve been mentally analyzing this for a few days. What is different this year? Could it be that we’ve lived here so long that we’ve acclimated, and our lives here have become our “normal”? No doubt that comes into play. I’m SURE having my mom and dad here makes a big difference, too. Yet I still miss so many other family members and loved ones.

Well, I think I’ve awakened to the pivotal difference this year:

Healing Place Church Swaziland

Ben and I pastor this campus, and we are loving it. We’re passionate for the people, eager to help them experience Christ’s love and redemption. Sundays are amazing, now, and I don’t watch the clock, thinking about HPC in Baton Rouge, noting when their services are going on and yearning to be there. We do pray for everyone and the services there, but again, it’s with contented hearts.

Our hearts are here, now. No matter where I am in the world, I’m missing loved ones, so geography can’t help me on that one. Heaven truly is our ultimate home. Until we reach there, I’ll never be fully settled. But suddenly, thank You, Jesus, and thank you, HPC, my earthly home is here. And this year, whenever I hear the song, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” I’m delighted to realize that I am home!

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4 Comments:

  • What a thrill it is to be here and share these moments with you,Daughter.

    By Blogger Dave Ohlerking, at 1:20 AM  

  • Susan I was standing outside last night,(walking a new christmas puppy) and the sky was so full of stars and it was so quiet that I just started singing "Oh Holy Night" and all of a sudden the season was about nothing else but Him. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    By Blogger sammie, at 7:28 AM  

  • I can't wait to see you!!!!

    By Anonymous Kristin Stutes, at 8:19 AM  

  • That's good to hear, Susan.
    Love you,
    Barbara Conti

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:11 PM  

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