What do you think of when you think of missionaries serving overseas? Bible studies, evangelism, one-to-one discipleship, worship, training, preaching and teaching. All these…every single one…has to do with contact with people. Illness puts such a stop to this and it get discouraging after a time. No one worries when we go for coffee with them or teach bible study with a slight cold. No one even knows how many times we serve with the many aches and pains our hidden illness of Fibromyalgia brings. Because that is simply the fact of our lives. But then comes highly contagious illnesses like Pinkeye (conjunctivitis or Redeye in ireland).
Its funny, people will demand to shake your hand even when you tell them you have a cold or flu (which is not very smart) but show up with pinkeye and you might as well have the plague! Now, I am not complaining at all for this wisdom, I do not want to give it to anyone. Nor do I go out and about to see who I can infect. Before it was diagnosed and we thought it was allergies I did go out but something niggled in the back of my head ‘just in case better not touch anyone and wipe everything with sanitizer.’ Once we had a firm diagnosis, its quarantine for me!
So, coffee times, Bible Studies, serving at the church, trainings, etc are all cancelled until I get the go ahead to be around people again. This is very discouraging. Everything we do has to do with the most important thing on earth -People. Years ago, someone might phone to see how you are doing, but now its usually a text, which is quite hard to read with one blurry eye. (Though I have been very happy to receive them.)
Bruce has been dealing with a bad cold while I deal with the pinkeye so we are quite the pair the last couple weeks. I am missing those I have fallen in love with so much here in Ireland. I know this will not last forever but still, these are just things I didn’t really think about when I lived in Canada. I know it is no different than anyone else getting sick anywhere else, but its still discouraging for me.
Yes, I am trying to stay positive and see the facts. This will not last forever, I will not lose my sight, but either way I am trying to pray more and learn whatever God is trying to teach me while I go through this particular time on the missionfield,