my parents, my heroes
HONORING THOSE WHO GIVE THEIR
CHILDREN BACK TO GOD
By Deleen Cousineau
I ONCE HEARD A MAN SAY that heroes are those who do what must be done in the face of adversity. While sending an adult child to another country as a missionary may not be considered adversity, it is certainly a challenge!
Parents are often the last people to see their child board a plane for a distant place…and the first to receive them when they return home. They see us arrive fatigued, with outdated hairstyles and clothing. But they are always present to welcome us with open arms.
I know it must have been extremely difficult for my parents when, Mike and I boarded a freighter ship 27 years (during my ninth month of pregnancy) ago to travel from Marseille, France, to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, West Africa. What were we thinking? Yet, my parents were faithful in prayer and support.
I believe missionary service has been easier and more fruitful because even when their hearts were breaking, our parents did not stand in the way. As we prepared to return to Ivory Coast during volatile civil unrest, Mike’s mom assured me, “I know why Mike has to return to the Ivory Coast. It’s God’s call on His life.”
She said this after Mike had been kidnapped and his life threatened during our previous term. I love her for understanding the call of God on a man’s life, especially the life of her son.
I honestly believe our parents will rejoice with us before the Lord when we see Revelation 7:9,10 fulfilled: “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”
I understand my parents’ sacrifice better now that my own children are adults. As my daughters lead families of their own, I want to say to them, “Go. Above all else, do God’s will for your life. Don’t worry about me. We’ll catch up on lost time in heaven.”
While I write this in honor of my own parents, it also represents many other parents like mine. They never discouraged us from following God’s leading, regardless of circumstances. I will always love them for this.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for being a godly example to me.
Deleen and Mike Cousineau have served as missionaries to Côte d’Ivoire for almost 30 years. Learn more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist International Missions.