I love the story of the missionary couple who served 30+ years in Africa and arrived home by ship. It so happened that there happened to be a very important diplomat on the same ship. When they arrived in New York Harbor, the bands were playing; Great crowds were cheering. The red carpet was rolled out for the diplomat. And the diplomat walked down the gang plank onto the red carpet, where he was warmly greeted and then whisked away in a shiny limousine.
The missionaries had been standing on the deck waiting for all this to transpire so they could disembark. When finally they did, there was no one to greet them, and they walked into the busy streets of New York. The man was quiet and meditative, and then he said to his wife: It doesn’t seem quite right. This diplomat gets all the attention and applause from hundreds of people. Red carpet treatment, a speech of welcome, and a limousine. And here we are after all these years of serving on the mission field . . . we arrive home and there is no one to meet us. No one to pick us up . . . no car to whisk us away. It just doesn’t seem fair. His wife was quiet for a moment, and then she put her arm around her husband, and she said: "But dear, we’re not home yet."