It’s a glorious Sunday afternoon. A cool breeze beckoned me outdoors, me of the books and overstuffed chairs. I’ve just finished a brisk walk and pulled some weeds from outside our home.

For the past few days I’ve been thinking on the word “Home.” It’s a loaded word for just about everyone, global workers included. There are the memories of our childhood homes and the homes we’ve inhabited as adults. Then there’s home from the point of view of our children, who as Campus Crusade offspring, will probably know many homes.

One of my favorite childhood memories is of hot, sweet, yeasty “snail” buns produced by my mother. No one really called them snails but their shape reminded me of them. They were oh so delicious. I loved coming home to that fragrance.

I’ve lived in several homes, each with its own set of memories. In 1977 Bob and I and our four little boys moved to Nairobi. Our place was made of stone blocks and squarely faced Oloitokitok Road. Surrounded by a high hedge, the house itself wasn’t big. But the front yard was spacious, resembling a football field. Hiding in the hedge were amazing 3-horned chameleons who made fantastic, exotic pets.

The back yard was full of wonders! Just after our arrival, Bobby and Damon discovered amethyst crystals, ruby zoazite and other semi-precious minerals lying just under the surface. Their first discoveries were made while helping Daddy plant tomatoes. It was a little boy’s paradise and every rainy season brought more precious stones to the surface in various sections of the yard. The boys were possessive of their personal space, using string fences to mark off who was allowed to dig where and bargaining for the use of one another’s territory from time to time. Adam and Mark eventually joined in. Some of those stones accompanied us when we returned to the U.S. in ’88 and are now safely ensconced in Auer homes around the country. We still recall fondly the chameleons with their swivelly eyes and flicking tongues.

I wonder what you, as a single woman or you as a mother with children will recall of your years overseas. We did a lot of intentional things to “make memories.” We had regular family devotions and went to church. We had lots of guests, shared our faith and just enjoyed their company. We read many many books, individually and as a family.

We learned to make the most of wherever we were. We also learned to expect God to do unexpected good stuff that may outshine the stuff we work hard to produce, no matter where we call home.

I think the amethyst crystals, the chameleon, and the snail rolls are especially memorable because they were unexpected gifts from the Lord.

May He bless you with some special unexpected gifts in your home in the days to come!


(Reprinted with permission from “Insider”, April/May/June, Vol. 9 #2)


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