Three years ago today, Heidi, Baby Jack, and I were in Monument, Colorado learning how to be missionaries. It was an incredible training but we were haunted the entire time by the thought that the Lord did not want us to go to Senegal any longer. A few months later we had resigned from the Navigators and did not know what to do next. We had spent three years getting ready and then we did not go. It was a terribly painful time of our lives. My lowest point came on Christmas Eve of 2009. I was working at Costco, collecting shopping carts in a blinding snowstorm all day. Since then I have settled into a better job, we moved into a house that we love, and added twin boys to our family. But we still think about Senegal.
I cannot speak for Heidi but I think about Senegal all the time. We don't know why the Lord changed the plan and perhaps we never will. Enduring the death of Heidi's Dad and birthing twins in Dakar would have been tough, but I am not sure either of those things are the reason we did not go. We loved the team that we would have joined. They are three fantastic families and sometimes I ache thinking about how much I would have loved to serve with them. I still cannot bring myself to wear the Senegalese soccer jersey that I bought in Kebemer. The sadness is still too close to the surface. I know how hard life can be in Africa and there are times when I feel relief thinking about broken down trucks and 100+ degree weather and long days learning a new language, but I still feel sad. We know we made the right choice and someday I will wear my jersey again. In the meantime, I will pray for the Mashburns, Ketchums, and the Herzbergs and hope to see them on home assignment. And I will continue to think about Senegal.