Not until the wee hours of yesterday morning, did I finally force myself to LOOK at what happened in Christchurch. I knew it was horrific and I just didn’t want to deal with it. I haven’t stopped crying since. Other missionaries will comprehend and appreciate this statement-when GOD sends you to another country-HE makes it HOME. You have a genuine LOVE and attachment for that place and you know that HE supernaturally placed those feelings in your heart. You miss America while you’re there-you never STOP missing your country-but you do love where you are and you’re content to be there.
Christchurch was the city where we lived the longest while we were in New Zealand. Our foster sons went to grade school at one of the community schools, our daughter finished high school and our son graduated from University there. We went on field trips with Aaron and Walt, went to Jena’s rugby, volleyball & soccer games around the city. Jena got her first car in New Zealand & since she learned to drive on the left side of the road- she says the wrong side IS the RIGHT side.
One of Joshua’s favorite bands is a kiwi group called ELEMENOP; he was stalked by a man for several weeks in a local mall where he worked-a FAVORITE inside family joke. We hiked the bush trails, swam and fished at the beaches, played in the parks, had cafes that we frequented on Sundays after church. It was where we lived the middle years of the MORGAN family life; no, it wasn’t always perfect and we had our share of ups and downs, but it was home and to see it lying in ruins and filled with death is gut wrenching.
Since both kids went to school in the downtown area, it would NOT have been uncommon for one of them to have been climbing the spiral tower of the Cathedral that came down and entombed several. There’s something surreal about people people climbing to the top of a church bell tower when a massive earthquake hits…
Rebuilding CHRISTCHURCH is mind boggling-the city where we lived is no more. It means a lot to have had so many people send emails or call to extend their well wishes..it makes the hurt feel better, knowing that people here understand that we also had-a life there. It’s a wee bit soon to predict, but don’t be surprised to hear that Chip and Lis are returning to New Zealand- the truth is, those who’ve seen our hearts since we returned, know that- deep down-we never really left anyway.