Today (Sunday, April 13) marks 18 days from furlough. What does that mean, it means putting things in storage, selling our car, finishing up projects, having a friend move into our home and saying goodbye, at least for a time. Interestingly there isn’t enough emotion in that sentence. It sounds too cut and dried. Furlough is a big deal for a missionary. It is certainly a big deal to us. It means all the relationships and ministry of the last three years sort of go on hold for nine months. It means returning to one’s “own” culture and discovering that it isn’t exactly the same as when you left.
Then again it means focusing our attention to reporting to our churches, catching up with friends and family and retooling. It means sitting in your homes and visiting and praying. It means speaking to a Sunday school class filled with brothers and sisters in Christ and sharing from our hearts. It means helping children to understand what their great God is doing to bring more people to a loving relationship with himself through his Son, Jesus. It means traveling many miles to be with you and share life with you. For us it also means being in Oregon, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and for sure some places we don’t even know about, yet. It also means seeing our kids, living with Natasha, spending a month with Steve’s mom in Oregon and being close to Kay’s dad.
We are looking forward to being with you on furlough even as we sort of dread the leaving from this end. As for your prayers please lift us up over the next three weeks as we prepare for our departure from Mexico and our re-entry into the US. Preparing means finishing up the awesome baptistry that we are constructing in the ICN church yard/garden, finishing the plumbing and electrical to the Sunday school wing also at ICN, and working with church leadership on the ICN church internal papers ( those are the ones that give order to how the church functions). Steve has one more sermon to preach at ICN and will work with the elders on the installation of deacons and deaconesses. We are also getting a construction project going at the Eagles Community Center that will benefit both the Eagles Church and the Mexico City Christian Academy (missionary school) by providing secure off street parking and an area that the community center can use to expand their outreach to the neighborhood. This is a partial list as of today, but you get the general idea.
Items for finishing well already accomplished include, Kay’s supervision of the achievement tests at MCCA, Steve’s preparing Juanito for assuming the responsibilities of worship leader at ICN and a nice transition, getting the 2008 Toyota Hilux sold, Kay’s training teachers and the new supervisor of the Sunday school at ICN, finished up the English classes for Spring quarter in two neighborhood outreach programs, and have almost finished an intensive church planting course with a Mexican couple.
Other minor projects include Steve building a roof over the balcony of our rental home, finishing the bathrooms at the ICN church, etc., etc. Ok, it seems we may have bit off a bit more than we though we had time for, but it is all coming together in the end. Looks like we will see most of it accomplished before we leave.
So, join us in the count down. Pray us through to the end, and the beginning. Thank you.
Steve and Kay