Irregular and fleeting internet access has hightened the sense of isolation lately.
We have just under a month left of this trip now. We've met with various individuals and groups, and have been led to believe that our time with them has been helpful for those who have invited us to meet with them. And for that we are grateful. But we are not yet any closer to knowing what our own future is, and that is not only hard but gets harder with every passing day.
All along the line we have sought to process our journey with those we have been sent out from. Together, over an unfolding process of time, we agreed that God was calling us to leave Sheffield; to go somewhere else; that Perth was the place, where we would either be invited to come alongside a community seeking to engage in mission, or receive a clear invitation to do so from somewhere else; but, that an ongoing, relentless nomadism was not the call on our lives at this time. That rootless life has already been ours for seven months now, with no immediate hope of a place to put roots down, and - among other things - a daughter who has taught herself to read in the past couple of weeks, and who needs to start school somewhere soon...
Is it too much to want a place to belong? To hold on to a promise? It is certainly harder when our sense of community is fractured by time zones, mobile phones that run out mid-conversation, and limited access to email.
And then there are plans that need to be made. Where will we stay when we go back to the UK (okay, we will visit relatives and friends and sending community, but I mean specific details of where when)? And, given that it will take time to make necessary practical arrangements to move to the next place - once that place is known - where do we base ourselves, and what do we do, while those details are being resolved? Even more fundamental, how do we work through the very different needs of our very different personalities - Jo's need for me to make plans I feel unable or even unwilling to make, while still needing to honour and cherish her?
I guess we aren't the first people to face these issues; nor will we be the last. They are perhaps inevitable issues for those who go ahead, to spy out new land. But they need to be voiced, to be understood, to be lifted up in prayer. Right now, I don't have answers. But I cling on to the One who does, and lift my family to Him each day.