Following is an open letter my wife and I wrote to all parents who give so much to their children who are missionaries. We wrote it several years ago, while we were serving in Taiwan.
Thank you for raising us to know about God and his love for the world.
Thank you for letting us go without letting go of us.
Thank you for forgiving late birthday cards.
Thank you for praying for us.
Thank you for giving up time with your grandchildren.
Thank you for your e-mails and letters and calls.
Thank you for sending Barbie Dolls, Tic Tacs, Koolaid, socks, Reader’s Digests, and Lucky Charms cereal.
Thank you for your questions about our new home and work.
Thank you for being patient and understanding when we tell you how exciting it is to live in another part of the world.
Thank you for being patient and understanding when, two days later, we complain about living in that same place.
Thank you for not making us feel selfish for wanting to go. Sometimes we feel that way on our own.
Thank you for listening to our stories about people you’ll never meet with names you can’t pronounce.
Thank you for being our ambassadors.
Thank you for sending clippings from our hometown newspaper.
Thank you for telling us about our neighbors, classmates, and cousins—all the stories that don’t make the news.
Thank you for letting our brothers and sisters stand in for us when we’re too far away to do our part in the family. (They really should get their own letter.)
Thank you for loving us.
Thank you for trusting Jesus to take care of us when you can’t.
Thank you for being proud of us. We are proud of you.
We chose to be a missionary family, not you, and we understand that our move has meant many sacrifices for you. You are not only a part of our family but an invaluable part of our team.
With all our love,