When we started to talk to our Amdu friends about leaving Amdu for awhile and going back to our home country their main concern, besides the question of our return, was why we needed to leave in the first place. They had no desire to see us go. But when we reminded them how sad Benjamin’s mother would be and how long it had been since we spent time with Missy’s parents they quickly agreed that it was important that we go. It still didn’t make them happy, but they felt like they couldn’t argue with the necessity of our home assignment.
In its most basic form the definition of home assignment for missionaries is the all important time spent back in the home country and culture with family, friends and supporters all for the purpose of reconnecting and recharging so that the long term demands of ministry can be met. This is especially true for missionaries ministering in cross cultural contexts like we are in Amdu.
There is a fatigue that is hard to explain that comes with living in a culture that is not your own. Not dealing with this form of fatigue directly affects ministry longevity. And so here we are, at the behest of our leaders both in NTM and our supporting churches and of course to the everlasting delight of ourselves and our families. Reunion has been very sweet!!
It goes without saying that we will be soaking up as much family time as we can, like this shot of Missy and her Dad in line for ice cream at the 4th of July fireworks celebration.
We have missed two weddings, many birthdays and holidays too so it was great to be here for the birth of little Cillian, Benjamin’s sister’s first baby. A landmark occasion!
Our kids have to belong here in the USA too despite being raised in Amdu so American experiences are important – thus a trip to the ball park to watch the Lansing Lugnuts.
Another important aspect of home assignment is the sharing that we will be doing with our supporters about all that God has accomplished by His grace over the past three years. In doing this we hope to see the Lord encourage your hearts as much as He has ours. And we believe that as we share time together talking about all that God must accomplish in us before the Amdu people can receive the Gospel we will all be reinvigorated for the next season of service.
Our pastor has mandated rest for us in the next months. He has also asked us to consider writing about some of the challenges and triumphs we have experienced as the Amdu work was opened. Pray for us as we seek to be diligent in this and for each interaction that we have; that we would know the mutual encouragement that comes from sharing life with fellow believers and that perhaps the Lord might raise up more laborers for the work of reaching people like our friends in Amdu with the Gospel because of our testimony of His greatness!