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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)

TITLE: So Close To Being Far From Home
By Rachel Rudd


”You can bring change to the world.”

A child from Kenya with a bulging, deformed cheek and downcast eyes flashed on the screen.

“There are so many people that need love.”

A Bolivian woman appeared carrying a baby on her back and a jug of water in her hands.

“There are so many that need help.”

An Indian man with a deformed hand reached out from the large display.

“There are so many that need hope.”

A teenager placed a Bible in the hands of an Indian.

“You can bring a transformation to the world.”

The picture on the screen dimmed and the 20 foot globe at the front lit up.

I leaned over and whispered, “I want to go sign up, Shannon.”

“What do you think your parents will say?”

“Well, it’s only 4,000 miles away from home if I go to Bolivia.” She grinned and I continued. “I know God is calling me out of this country to some other place in the world.”

“Yeah, I know. Just remember to think about me sometimes.”

“You bet.” I smiled and went to stand in line for an application.

“Here you go.” The lady behind the table handed over a thick folder with an application. “Just remember to fill it out completely and have your parents and pastor write a letter of reference.”

“Okay.” I tore the packet open. “Short Term Missions. Be ready to change. Yeah, that’s me.” I read further on. “Due to the serious and sometimes dangerous nature of our missions the age limit is 15.”

“Oh, no. Now I will have to wait until next year. I guess I have to stay inside the U.S. this summer and find a way to make a difference. “


You are invited to Shannon’s 30th birthday party. The theme is the 70’s, so be ready to take it to the max, you know!

“Did you see this?” I push the invite in front of my husband.

He picks it up and sighs. Then he lifts my hand to his lips and kisses it. “My sweet, I understand you want to go. I know how much you were looking forward to being home with your family again, but we simply can’t afford the plane tickets.”

“I know, I know. All our money is going toward the house. Are you sure that being here is what God wants for us?”

“Yes, I believe He called us here and He has a plan for us.”

My chest rises and falls deeply. “It’s just not easy. I miss out on so much.”

He rubs my shoulders and asks. “What about your friends and family here, especiallly the ones who don’t know Jesus? Think what a difference you are making in their lives, a little at a time.”

“It’s not me that is making it.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know Jesus is the only one who can. I’m glad to hear you’ve finally figured it out.”

“Oh, so, you think you’re smarter than me, huh?” I grab his feet and begin to tickle.

He laughs and grabs my hands to stop the torture. “Not better, just more in the know.”

“Yeah, well at least I get out there.”

He squeezes my knees and the fight is on.


I long for home. Yet I am home. My home lies in two places 4,000 miles apart. One place has the ones who’ve known me since I was not even visible. One place has the ones who love me for the woman I’ve become. I used to look from the inside of my secure home in America and long to get out and do something for God in this world. Now I look from the outside, inside my secure home on the other side of the ocean, and long to be inside America again.

Somewhere in the future there’s a meeting of the two halves of my heart. Jesus holds them both.

It’s hard to remember when homesickness hits me the hardest, but the best place for me to be is right at home with God. His home is always with me. No matter whether I’m on the outside or the inside of any country.

“Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
John 14:23 (NIV)

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This article has been read 619 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 05/11/09
You've written a creative story for the topic. You've effectively conveyed the mixed-feelings of your MC. I like these sentences. "Somewhere in the future there’s a meeting of the two halves of my heart. Jesus holds them both.
Bryan Ridenour05/12/09
Nice take on the topic. Well written. Good job.
Yvonne Blake 05/12/09
Well written! You could feel the emotions, confusing as they were written. I was a little puzzled over the setting in the second part. A little more description would have helped.
Well done
Mona Purvis05/12/09
The stark reality of serving God in foreign missions. Gives the reader something to think about. I know I don't thank those on Foreign fields enough.
Chely Roach05/12/09
A lovely missions story; I love the authenticity of the mix of emotions that comes with being a missionary. Well done!
Janice Fitzpatrick05/13/09
Very enlightening to how missonaries feel. Nice job!
Karlene Jacobsen05/13/09
Homesick...heart split in two...Jesus hold both halves and will unite them in heaven. What a wonderful promise, eh? Nice job on this topic.
Loren T. Lowery05/13/09
I loved this line:
"Somewhere in the future there’s a meeting of the two halves of my heart. Jesus holds them both." I also loved they way you were able to express the heart of a true missionary that I could understand their call and sacrifice.
Shelley Ledfors 05/13/09
A very creative take on the topic, and so well done! I loved the two halves of the heart, with Jesus holding them both.
Joshua Janoski05/14/09
I felt very torn right along with your MC as I read this. You made a good point that God is with us no matter where we live here on this earth. Home is found in Him. I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing!
Dee Yoder 05/14/09
This is a good accounting for how the missionary feels. A piece of the heart is left in both worlds. Very revealing and authentic.