I have just returned from my 12th year of leading mission trips to the Apache reservation in Arizona (18 total trips over those years) and still miss it. There is always a difficulty in readjusting to the regular pace of life. My heart is always so full after a week of unique experiences, bonding with teammates, seeing victories up close, and feeling heartache over cultural circumstances. It's not something that can be set behind you quickly or relegated to memory without some time to consider the full impact of the trip. Arizona and the wonderful people there are a part of my family and I always greatly anticipate the next time I get to return.
My passion for Arizona does not soften my passion for Milledgeville however. God gently reminds me of the call to be part of sharing the Gospel here in our community as well. In fact, many times in Arizona our team would recognize the parallels between what we saw out west and our own town back east. We were all in agreement that our mission with our Apache friends & missionaries was powerful, but that our greatest call was to infect our home with the same passionate enthusiasm. There is a sense of urgency to reach people as we recognize that our mission field is all around us.
I am firmly rooted here and excited about the challenges God has in front of us to reach our community. I don't think that it's a bad thing that part of my heart is also in small neighborhoods, after school programs, missions, and a beautifully dark reservation either. It helps keep me focused spiritually and physically.
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to be in two places at once.