Empty boxes fill the room. A home once full of children's voices and scampering feet now is a quiet room full of reminders. Birthday parties for orphans who have never had a party just for them, movie night, good strong Illy coffee, laughter and spilled kool-aid, girls night out, Bible lessons, and hope.
Missionaries come and go in every country, but they also leave an impact each time. As I pack up the pieces of their lives I realize that each book, each plate tells a story. They came to stay forever. They sold their house in the states, the kids beds, the bikes, even their dog to come to Albania to serve. Now, their dreams are put on hold as the Lord has allowed circumstances beyond their control to take them stateside.
It is a chapter closing in their lives and even in ours. It is a difficult to see our dear missionary friends leave the country. It is sad to see the people left behind who are affected by their leaving. I know their hearts are still in Albania, but for a missionary there is so much more needed to continue a ministry.
As missionaries in a foreign land, we are family to each other. We laugh together, cry together and eat burnt or raw or fatty or grisly or delicious suflaqas together. When one of our members is gone, we notice. We miss them. We LOVE you guys!