Guest Post for Jen Pollock Michel, Home: Musings and Memories

I was honored to be included in Jen Pollock Michel's guest series, “Home: Musings and Memories" and even more excited about her upcoming book, Keeping Place: Reflections on the Meaning of Home (IVP, Spring 2017). Jen believes "home is our most fundamental longing, homesickness our most nagging grief. Most of all, I believe that the historic Christian faith has something to say about that desire and disappointment." It is always a challenge and joy to process my years overseas and digest them for readers. Perhaps you know someone living abroad right now? Maybe ask them to share their home story with you this Christmas? Here's mine:

Daire 3, 5 Blok, Vitol Cikmazi, Moda, Kadikoy, Istanbul, Turkiye

It seemed fitting to live in the largest neighborhood of the largest city in the largest unreached nation. Principle had drawn us here, with our one-year-old in tow and adventure at our backs. It was not a sacrifice. We were young and seeking purpose. And we were planting a flag with the apartment we chose: this would be the haven for our team, the space in which hearts would change.

The day we trudged up the hill with lights and curtains tucked under our arms, preparing the apartment for our move, our new electrician friend pulled us anxiously toward the TV in his shop. While our son played with electrical outlets, we watched planes fly intentionally into towers. We moved into our new home days later amid shock, fear, and grief. Our first team meeting included an angry call with a father in America: he wanted his young daughter on a flight immediately, safely out of the middle east.

Our home was christened with tears.

Months later I ordered a turkey from the butcher and opened canned yams from the black market coming off the military base. We celebrated Thanksgiving with 25 people, only half of whom were American, and shared a little bit of home with new friends. The first of all our wedding gift wine glasses broke that night as young teammates helped in the kitchen. A few stayed late to binge watch Alias thanks to a VHS tape received in the mail.

Our home was anointed with laughter.

Finish reading here.