Two Fifty-Somethings Go Short Term

Peter and Marion exchanged the cowbells of the Waikato for the sights and sounds of Thailand. Their lives packed in two suitcases, these two fifty-somethings took up a one year responsibility as hostel-parents for a bunch of missionary kids.


“We were made aware of a short-term need and felt motivated to pack up our belongings and go.  Most of them were teenagers and their parents were working as missionaries, either in Thailand or the surrounding countries.  Our willingness to give up jobs and security provided the ‘real’ hostel-parents with a well deserved break.  Caring for 11 children from 7 nationalities certainly had its challenges, but it also became a tremendous blessing as these kids started to share their lives with us.”


A year later, Peter and Marion took up a different challenge altogether.  This time the continent was Africa.  Thankfully for them the language was English.  Their task was to run a financial office and attached guesthouse, servicing a host of missionary activities in Ghana. It was a 6 month placement of many highlights and deep impressions.  “To be able to communicate freely with the locals was such a blessing and great fun. The Ghanaians are surely the friendliest people.  Big smiles are never far away. The church we attended left a lasting impact on us. The singing and dancing, generosity and testimonies, moved us many times to tears.  We’ve never seen people expressing their love for the Lord with such joy” they said.


“We were overwhelmed at times by the poverty we encountered, especially in the densely populated slums. Recycling took on a new meaning; nothing is wasted, until one dares to look in the 2-3 feet deep gutters. Moving out of our comfort zones certainly was hard at times, but we count it a privilege to have been part of two so different cultures.”


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