I still remember returning to the United States on my first furlough from Papua New Guinea. I hadn’t realized how deeply affected I had been by living in an environment where violence and robbery were commonplace. As the customs officer looked over my paperwork and handed back my passport, he said, “Welcome home.” Tears came to my eyes as I relaxed and rested in the luxury of my country’s freedoms.
As I settled in, however, I realized that I had changed, and my country had changed. No longer was I 100-percent American, but a blend of cultures. I might look like I fit in here; but part of my heart was still in Papua New Guinea. While in PNG, I looked like an outsider, but as time went by, I inwardly bonded with the people of PNG.
After several years of going back and forth between countries, I could begin to identify with the phrase “Home is everywhere, and nowhere is home.” As a result, I have a deep longing for heaven, where home is simply everywhere because everyone belongs!
When I consider that at least 150 million people on this planet are homeless, and another 10 million people are stateless, it breaks my heart. I am fortunate. I have a glimpse of what home can look and feel like. However, many on this planet do not. Satan makes sure that war, hate, crime and abuse rob people of this secure sense of belonging. And when we consider that half of this planet’s population—more than 3 billion people—do not know that God is preparing a heavenly home for His children, our hearts should be stirred to action.
Ellen White proclaims, “He has given us a world-wide message. This truth must be extended to all nations, tongues, and people. Satan’s power was to be contested, and he was to be overcome by Christ and also by His followers. An extensive war was to be maintained against the powers of darkness. And in order to do this work successfully, means were required. God does not propose to send means direct from heaven, but He gives into the hands of His followers talents of means to use for the very purpose of sustaining this warfare” (3T 388.3).
Through Christ, we have the means to win this battle! Let’s do it!