Internationals have had this figured out for years. How to use technology to stay in touch when separated by distance? How to keep friendships going when you can’t be face to face?
Yet, us ‘stay-at-home nationals’ have never had to figure it out! Having taken it for granted that we could just pop in to see neighbours and friends or road trip to see siblings or parents, the world of separated relationships is new to us! Obviously our international friends love visiting home, sharing hugs & physical food together. They know, more than we do, that the internet is no substitute for real contact! But we have much to learn…
How long have you been in UK?
I have been in the UK for 4 years
What is it like being apart from family?
Being apart from family is a little difficult only because of my elderly parents (both mid-70s) although they are healthy and well by God’s grace. I am close to my mum, and I miss her dearly and wish I could do more for her as she had given so much to me growing up. Also, it is harder having children, grandparents miss witnessing the child’s growing up, and we don’t have backup childcare!
How do you keep in contact?
We keep in touch via Whatsapp calls about 4 times a week and messages.
How do you do “normal” things with your family (meals, celebrations, playing games, watching kids grow up)?
We try to visit our parents once a year, but at all other times we use Whatsapp messages and calls, more pictures and video recordings.
Does being a Christian make any difference when you are away from home?
Being a Christian has made a difference.
Firstly, church fellowship, it has helped to know others in God’s family.
Secondly, for being apart from my elderly parents, I often wish I could do more for them and feel a sense of guilt, and worry for their safety. Knowing our heavenly Father cares for everyone, I know He has a plan and purpose for our lives and also cares for my parents.
Also recognising our God-given vocation, I’m still able to honour my parents, by calling regularly and giving to them financially.
What encouragement would you give to people who are feeling isolated at this time?
On isolation, I don’t know if I have good advice as I do struggle too, probably reach out to others, when we reach out often we too find we all have struggles. God our heavenly father is the only answer to comfort within.
Trust in a good God, Proverbs 3:5.
To lean on God’s promises, one to not be anxious and ask Him:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
June 10, 2020 9:10 pm