As I watched the missionaries load up their luggage this morning onto the bus to head for the airport, I was reminded of what a missionary takes home with them. They love to take some special gifts that members have given them and some gifts that they want to give family and friends. They often try to fit in language materials so they can continue to study Chinese. Sometimes they bring home white (slash) sort-of white shirts and pants that may or may not have seen gravel from a bike mishap or getting caught in bike gears.
But, today, as I watched this Elder proudly wearing these shoes, I thought of what is left here on the streets of Taiwan. There is a lot of "blood, sweat, and tears left on the trail!" ...In Taiwan a LOT of sweat!:) As they step onto the plane/train headed for home, they are different. They are very different from who got off of the plane/train 18-24 months ago. They have changed in the form of improving who they were before. The changes do not come easy. They are well earned. They have spent hours and hours thinking of how they can improve the lives of the people they contact here. They have worried about those who are struggling. They have shed tears when they saw an investigator walk away. They have worked hard to teach just the right thing to personally touch a life at just the right moment. And, they have all seen miracles.
We always pray that as they arrive home, they won't have a desire to return back to who they were before. We pray that they will take all that they were before, adding who they have become, and continue to grow and stretch themselves. We can't wait to watch them!