It did occur to me on my travels on each of my stops: what if I just remained here? In Oman with its dramatic coastline and beautiful beaches, its wadis and mountains and deserts to explore, the Opera house, outdoor evening dining, expat community and Church – on the one hand – and its indoor & car culture, limited contact with Omanis, and restricted Christian freedom on the other.
Or in Nepal with bustling developing hard-to-live-in cities and inaccessible villages, the poverty and the need, the incomprehensible yet colourful religion and culture, the beauty and challenge of the Himalayas, cheap cost of living, warm friendly locals, and its exploding church with countless opportunities to support evangelism and transformation.
Or in the UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) with its constant dry heat and balmy evenings, the majestic and fragrant malls and breathtakingly lit buildings, jogging at 10pm in 30 degrees, cricket grounds, opportunities to ski or golf, bash dunes or ride camels, attend a F1 grand prix, and Ferrari World, and dine in style, though nothing without a price tag.
Or in Westdene? I think I could happily make a life in any of these locations visited. But after all my travels, it was quite nice coming home.
Westdene feels like home. With approaching 10 years here, I guess it claims that right, as the place I’ve stayed longest. But what makes it home is the people that I have returned to – my church family – and the task that I have been called to. But my travels have reminded me that this could be anywhere where God’s people are, and where God’s call is. The choice of ‘home’ is temporary for “our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20)