labor of love image

Labor of Love

written February 16, 2023

For Travis & Andrea, 

Micah, Grace, Lumi W—-

A groan of anguish seeks to escape—

I barely contain it.

Why, why, WHY

Why does it feel so broken?

This was to be a joyful reunion,

A celebration of the fruit of many years—

Yet here is heartache in the happiness.

All those years of labor and love,

Learning, laughing, making mistakes,

Working hard, patiently longsuffering.

All those tears of frustration and fear,

Not knowing if the work would last another day

Drudging through bias and politics and sickness and war

(Both the seen and the unseen)

All those years

All those tears

And for what?

After pouring our lives into these people,

This project, this purpose,

We’ve come back to visit and we find

Such heaviness and hardship.

Was it in vain?

To be put in a box and shut away

As if it never happened?

Was it a waste?

All those years

All those tears—


I said my goodbyes years ago

And tucked the memories into my heart

As mementos of my childhood,

My home, my friends.

I thought I said goodbye.

And then I came to visit.

All the memories, all the hopes and fears

And laughs and loves

All the good years

Came flooding back.

But now I must leave for good.

My heart is breaking again,

Worse this time because

This crack is on top of another

Not yet fully healed.

All those years

All those tears

And for what?

Would it have been better

To never come here?

I cherished this place as my home

I loved these people as my family

I embraced this culture as my own

And then I had to leave—

Oh, how ecstatic this return!

Every moment excitement and joy

Every interaction perfect

Like I’m home again!

But now it hits me.

I’m giving her my last hug—ever?

Will I never walk this street again?

Will I never eat fruit from that tree again?

Must I truly say goodbye

To this place I love?

Oh, the tears

Oh, the years

The pain of this loss is physical.

Why does it feel so broken?

Will it ever be okay?

And yet

There is grace through the turmoil.

Love and loss

Lament amid joy

Seeds to harvest

Unity amid division

Together and apart.

All those years

All those tears

Seeds were planted.

Bridges were built.

Love was grown.

Maybe it seems



In vain

Or a waste

But no.

We serve a God who’s always working

Who’s bigger than space and time,

Injustice and poverty.

Our work was not in vain

Because the work was God’s.

These friends are not lost

Because they’re eternal family.

This people is not done

Because we’ll worship with them

In paradise.

All these years are in His hands

All these tears He holds in a bottle.

God is working,

Just wait and see.

Chana bio pic
TCKs for Christ: Newsletter Manager


is a TCK from America who spent half of her childhood in Indonesia along with her parents and seven younger siblings. She’s passionate about learning new things and seeing the beauty in differences. In her free time, she likes to read, play board games, talk, laugh, write poetry, joke, and meet new people. She’s also a student at Moody Bible Institute, working towards her bachelor’s in Linguistics and Teaching English. Connect with her social media handle, @Godisgraciousx2.

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