Isaiah was nearly six years old when I told him that we would be moving to another country to tell people about Jesus. One thing his little mind quickly grasped that night was that his world was to be forever changed. Change is an inevitable necessity in life that often carries with it some measure of stress. It is especially tough for children as their sky becomes clouded with unknowns and unpredictability. How would he cope with his daddy’s decision to be a missionary? That night it seemed to help crying in his mama’s arms. The next day he was his smiling self.
Although I believe he takes comfort in the faith and resolve of his father and the security and assurance of his mother, there is a resiliency about my son that amazes me. There are definitely many advantages to growing up as a “missionary kid” but the challenges arising from a lack of consistency on deputation cannot be overstated. He handled them with a smile. Moving to Italy was fraught with uncertainty and apprehension, starting public school was especially intense. Sandy had home-schooled Isaiah since kindergarten. I can’t imagine beginning public school at the age of 10 in a foreign country especially since he didn’t understand the Italian language. He was very brave as the crowd of kids swallowed him up while pushing their way through the door. It was an answer to prayer to see him smiling when we picked him up. Isaiah easily made many friends the two years we were in Rome and he was really sad to leave them when we moved to Verona in July. It’s never easy to say good-bye but he embraced the adventure of a new city.
He was feeling nervous as the first day of middle school approached. As he walked up the steps among the Italian kids his mom and I prayed his day would go well. I always have been in awe how he has handled adversity with such composure and grace. At the end of the day he was all smiles as he said the kids in his class called him Captain America, who happens to be his favorite superhero. Isaiah is certainly one of my heroes, though he’ll always be Boy Wonder to me.