Not Our Home

| Jessi Whetle

“For here we do not have a permanent city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips that confess His name.…” Hebrews 13:14-15

The Lord, over the past few years, has graciously allowed me to be part of several mission trips here at Providence. Nothing short of God’s grace could have allowed me to go on these trips, and on each trip, the Lord has not failed to show me a part of who He is.

The first time I agreed to go to Boston with Providence was three years ago for a four-day trip. Four days is not a long time. Upon arriving in Boston, we hit the ground running; we were supposed to go into the town of South Coast, knock on doors, share about Christ, and tell people about the church. I was terrified; I didn’t know what I was supposed to say. Talking to new people is this introvert’s worst nightmare, but the Lord was gracious to me with each knock on a door and with each person I encountered. By the end of the first day I was exhausted, and I began to get homesick.

Up until this point in my life, I had never been homesick. I felt silly. We were one day in and I wanted to go home. The second day was filled with activities—opportunities to clean the church and helping with other tasks. That evening we got to help with an outdoor movie night and meet more people. It was amazing to see the Lord bring people to this event and to provide more opportunities to share about Christ and His church, but even with all this I missed being home and my anxiety began to rise. I thought to myself, “Lord this is not a good fit, I want to go home.”

The third day was Sunday, I was supposed to help lead worship that night and then fellowship with members of the church. I felt like didn’t have the emotional strength. I turned to our group leader and asked to skip lunch with the group, so I could have some quiet time. He looked at me like I was crazy but agreed to my request. I went back to my room, opened my bible, and began to pray. I realized that for the first time I had a place to call home, and I could miss it. Even more than that I realized that the home I missed so greatly was only a tiny snapshot of God’s kingdom. Boston was another snapshot of His kingdom, and it made me love Christ and His kingdom more. My thoughts changed from God I never want to do this again, to Lord help me to love this.

Over the past 3 years, Lord has provided in many ways for me—financially, spiritually, physically and emotionally. I still miss home when I leave, but each time I step away from home He has grown me to trust Him more and look more towards His Kingdom.