Monday, October 16, 2006

oh to be home...

It seems that nearly everyday I talk to someone from Amsterdam. whether via email, phone, or chat, I hear from someone almost everyday. They are my friends. We encourage each other, pray for each other, tell stupid jokes and share funny pictures.

If you came to my apartment, you'd see that Amsterdam pics dominate my decor. Some are pictures of the canals. Many are of the people; either members of short term missions teams i've been blessed to be a part of, or the lucky ones who currently live and work in this beautiful city. You can't look anywhere in my home w/out seeing something that has ties to Amsterdam.

The truth is, I'm always homesick for this place.
Don't get me wrong, I love being in the states. I have wonderful friends here, my family is here, my church is here, and God has given me meaningful things to do. But my heart is in Amsterdam. always.

today i chatted with Andrew B for a short while.
"I pray for a speedy approach of that auspicious day" he said. "that day" being the day I arrive in Amsterdam, not as part of a short term missions team, but to stay. "you've got a family here." indeed I do. He says the fall in Amsterdam is "outstanding". I can't imagine it being any other way. I told him that I can't wait for the day that he, Jeff, Courtney (face it girl... you're going back too...), and I could sit down to lunch at Cafe Toussaint. Or spend an afternoon praying and sharing the Gospel in the Red Light District.

I also talked to Jen Ross today. we've always communicated via email, but I finally downloaded Skype and we're going to try and actually talk sometime in the next few days. Jen and I talk less about Amsterdam, more about life in general. We shared some significant prayer requests, and continue to encourage each other in our business endeavors.

I talked to Eva today too. Eva is in the States right now, raising support to go to Amsterdam as a full-time missionary. We talked about our mutual desire to be back there as quickly as the Lord will allow. We talked about the challenges we often face as we pursue the vision God has given each of us for life in a foreign country.

Yes, they are my friends. And I miss them.

And I miss the city itself. I miss the sounds of the city. The tram bells, the bicycle bells, the myriad of foreign languages, and the hushed conversations. The small cafes, the tranquil canals, and the unique architecture.

Mostly (and this will sound strange) I miss the spiritual battle. Were everyone I know and care about to leave Amsterdam, I'd still go. Because ultimately, my heart's desire is redemption. Redemption for the people of the city. The women in the Red Light District. The drug dealers, the addicts. The college students who have told missions team members "no, my life isn't missing anything. I've got everything I want." You may have everything you want, but you're missing the thing you need most. The One you need most. I long to stand on the bridges in the Red Light District and tell the enemy that we're taking back this ground We're taking back these people. That this is still God's creation and these are still God's children and as His ambassadors, we're taking them back.

Yes. I'm homesick, today. But then.. I'm a little homesick everyday.


Blogger John M said...

You know...sometimes I think it is not fair that I am NOT being called to Amsterdam. I love that city...moreso than most any city here in the states. But, it isn't always what I want, right?

3:20 PM  
Blogger Stef said...

maybe you're just not being called right now...


4:30 PM  
Anonymous Courtney said...

Stef-I love this post. For some reason I found myself reading it again and yeah...I can't put my feelings into words, y'know?

8:06 PM  

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