Whenever my husband and I are watching the news, there is always a moment where this feeling in my stomach rises. It feels like I want to jump out of my seat because I want to be at this disaster, shooting photos, listening to and telling stories, and serving food to people in need. I want to do something that is more than sitting on my couch to watch what it unfold from thousands of miles away.

Ever since I was a teenager, I thought I’d be a missionary in some remote location serving people so they would know God’s love and compassion. When we were newlyweds, I told my husband we should be missionaries. He told me, “Look around. We are missionaries.”

We were stationed in Vicenza, Italy. He joined the Army and his job was ripped from the TV screens — paratrooper who jumps out of C-130s to run toward the bad guys. There is a unique type of community that exists when you are stationed overseas. People become fast friends, neighbors become extended family, and it becomes a true home away from home.

You live life with people. You invite them in. You are more open and honest because… there aren’t any other options. No friends from high school. No cousins to hang out with. And, you can’t understand the Italians.

When he got out of the Army, we came back “home” to California and couldn’t connect with people. So, I joined the Navy and we were put in a whole new community. It’s been 18 years since we’ve been back “home.” We live in a city that isn’t ours, a state where we didn’t grow up in, with people we have to meet and grow relationships with. And, in the military you reset every three years.

We are sojourners.

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