When Coronavirus Sent the Missionaries Home

By Emily Milner

Five months ago, almost to the day, I wrote about my son’s missionary service:

I want to wrap myself in this newborn missionary Spirit right now, knowing that in a few weeks or months my son may be sick, or discouraged, or exhausted, and I might get mad at God and whoever assigned him to this mission. He may need to come home early because of illness or depression. I might be upset or frustrated and tempted to be bitter.

But this is my prayer: may this Spirit be an anchor to my soul, grounding me in the truth of my son’s mission and in the power of the restored Gospel he will preach.

That line. Such understatement, and I didn’t even know. He may need to come home early because of illness.

My joyful missionary son now quarantines in my basement corner. A month ago we cleaned out his bedroom for my father-in-law to move back in, so he doesn’t have his room back. He studies Cebuano on the mattress we bought as soon as we found out, really and truly and we-are-not-kidding, that the Filipino government ordered all foreigners to leave within 72 hours.

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