I hadn't heard any recommendations for At the Edge of the Village: Musings of a Missionary Wife by Mrs. Lisa Leidenfrost, but since Canon Press hasn't let me down yet I bought a copy for Kristin. Mrs. Leidenfrost, a homeschooling mother of four, lives in the Ivory Coast of West Africa.
Kristin has really enjoyed the book--it's downright funny, easy to read, inspiring, and truth-telling. One reason she likes it so well are the similarities between missionary and military lifestyles. Missionaries belong to a highly mobile community; so do military families. Both groups have to say "goodbye" frequently, and the pain can be numbing. Mrs. Liedenfrost clearly speaks to us by relating this bit o' wisdom,
Once I was sitting by a missionary colleague during a conference, and she commented about this difficult aspect of missionary life. She said there are only two options for survival: to love quickly and deeply, or not to love at all. In the former course your hurt badly every time you move on and a relationship is broken, but in the latter you shut yourself off from loving anyone, and while it is true that you do not hurt when someone leaves you, you also begin slowly to die within--no one can live without giving and receiving love.