I was ten when my Mom and Dad decided the best course of action for my education was to place me in boarding school. Our family had been in Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) for six months starting a new mission work in the south eastern part of the country while living some 200 miles from that site with New Zealand missionaries. I had been able to attend school with their children locally but now we were moving. I don't remember being concerned that I was not included in the discussion. I assumed my parents had my best interest at heart and went along with all the change entailed. Until:
I remember the day and half trip from Mashoko Mission to Bulawayo interrupted by a shopping spree for my uniform which included a blazer and tie I was expected to wear every day. On the day my Dad took me to Hillside Boarding School I remember being nervous and it must have shown. As we pulled up to the school Dad looked at me and said, "You are really lucky - you get to go to boarding school. Do you know how many of your friends would have liked to be away from their parents as well?" Then we laughed and I my nervousness changed to eagerness.
Those are still three of the best years of my life. I reveled in the sense of adventure that came almost everyday. How different it would have been had Dad not properly prepared me. How different it would have been if I had not daily felt the love of my parents to that point. How different it would have been had he said, "Thanks for sacrificing yourself for the good of the work."
When Paul writes in Romans 5:3-5, "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." we can say, "I am really lucky - I get to sacrifice for Jesus."