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Oct 23, 2014

Just an Realization

A few weeks ago I heard Johnny on the phone with our oldest son who lives in Texas and I could hear their conversation. The jest of what I heard was that they lived through the rough years here in Croatia.

I started thinking about that and it's so true. When we arrived in Croatia our children were 7, 4 and 2. They were just little tykes and life was full just managing our days. I had school every day, normal home making, ministry, hubby and life in general all on top of extreme loneliness and culture shock. There was barely internet much less Vonage or MagicJack.
We got to speak to our family about once every few months and for a few minutes because of the cost. We were truely alone, at least from family. As much as I'd like to say we were breezing though and were getting victory daily it's not the truth. The first 5 years were the hardest of my life. Life was a daily struggle and trying to live for the Lord and be faithful to His call was about all we could muster day to day.
There were many days weeks months that we were in depression. At the time we had no idea that we were but looking back I can see that we spent a lot of time "just surviving". I know for our two oldest and especially our oldest that life was difficult.

One of the things I remember most was feeling like we really were living in a fishbowl. We were the talk of every crowd and when we were in public there were lots of talking and looking, which made us introvert a bit. I know my kids could feel it as well. We were talked about concerning our dress or lack of dress in the winter. I remember Josh coming home one day and tell my that the kids at the park said his parents didn't care about him because his play jeans had a small hole in the knee. Appearance was and still is very important here and it took some time to realize it. As much as I would have liked to have bucked the system I didn't, I conformed. It was just too difficult to be the center of everyone's attention. Any one who knows me knows that I love being behind the scenes and serving in less known areas. I've just never been an upfront, center of attention kinda gal.

Anyhow, looking back I can see that our children suffered through the hard times. I know it wasn't fair for them or healthy but honestly I don't know if I could have changed the situation. Life back then, 15 years ago was all about hanging on. We were doing our very best not to quit, not to fall by the wayside, not to be a statistic.

Obviously we made it. We suffered through the loneliness and hard times and now, it's amazing!! After almost 15 years, Croatia is our home, it's our norm now. When we visit the States we're out of sorts because this is home. It wasn't always and we have a few scares from the battle but we made it. I know the children understand and if anything it was profitable in instilling one thing: We're not quitters!!

And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
                                                     Galatians 6:9



  1. Wow! Thanks so much for sharing this post with your readers. As mission-minded independent baptists, I think we sometimes feel we have done our part by giving financially (and yes, that is a BIG part) and praying (which we do TRY to do faithfully). But, unfortunately, I don't think we really have a clue how life really is for the missionary on the field; what a real sacrifice it is to leave family and all that is familiar for a life so far removed from that. I appreciate your blog so much. It has painted a picture of missionary life so vividly-so many times. God bless you sweet friend.

    1. Thank you Tammy for your kind words!!

  2. I'm glad you shared this. My husband was asked to preached on missions Sunday a couple of weeks ago for a church in town. He mentioned things that we've been through with our ministry and some of our friends who are on the foreign field. I was little fearful about this because the people in this area don't see the need for sharing the gospel with anyone. Supporting missionaries financially is a "requirement" with nothing more. Every time we run into people from that church they talk about how they needed that sermon. I think if pastors were to experience missionary life for at least a year, they would have a true heart for missions and be able to share that love with their members.

    1. Thanks Lori, I appreciate you reading it. Praise the Lord that your husband preaches truth regardless what the folks want to hear.

  3. Hi Tori! Thanks for stopping by my blog. It's been a long time, and I'd lost your blog somewhere along the way. I'm not blogging much these days, but it's nice to stay in touch. :)

  4. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. Bob has always felt that our kids suffered a lot due to ministry life and I'm sure they did but they learned a lot but service, bring grateful and trusting the Lord that I think was a benefit to them.

  5. Wonderful post, Tori. I can't imagine the stress, emotionally and physically of moving to a foreign location. I've not been to another country for an extended time so I can't really identify but I've heard so many testimonies of missionaries like your family who have made another country their home and it truly becomes their home. My heart and prayers are with you!


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