It’s that time of year again, when the school year ends and many of the support workers who serve at the school go back to their home countries for a well-deserved rest. Some families are returning to their home countries to get their graduating senior settled into their new school, while some of us remain here in our highlands home to keep things working smoothly and ensure the needs of the “bush” missionaries are met and sharing of the gospel continues. Our family will be one of those “holding down the fort” for now, but our time of rest is coming.
In the U.S., we have times of rest and fun in the form of long holiday weekends and family vacations, but while serving in another culture, it’s more difficult to achieve that type of rest from a weekend at the beach. Because if you are stressed by speaking another language, acting appropriately for the culture, or being stared at because you’re foreigners, those stresses are at the beach, too. When we first set off for PNG, we anticipated that we’d be in the country for our full 4-year term without any out-of-country breaks, but after more than a year here, we’re realizing that a shorter home break every 2 years might be more fitting for our family.
So, once the flood of rested missionaries returns and the new school year begins, we’ll be taking our break. This October we’ll be heading back to the U.S. for 11 weeks of visiting family, reacquainting our kids with their “home culture,” and having at least one eye exam for a newly near-sighted member of our household who stands 2 feet from the TV. While home, we also have plans to eat boxed cereal for breakfast whenever possible, watch squirrels frolic in the grass, and buy as much pepperoni as we can fit in our suitcases.
While visiting family and friends in southern Michigan/northern Indiana and Wisconsin, we’ll also be sharing about what God is doing among the people of PNG, and the people who have heard the gospel for the first time since we’ve been here. We’ve learned so much about PNG culture since our arrival, and we are excited to share what we’ve learned about God’s heart for missions in that time.
In the last days of December, as we return to PNG to get back to our duties here, we’ll be bringing grandma Margaret Streeter with us to PNG for a short visit! We’re so happy that she will visit our PNG home for a few weeks and get a glimpse of daily life here as support missionaries, as well as meet some of the people of PNG!
We’ll be in the U.S. from October 10th through December 29th, so if you want to meet with us or would like us to share at your church, small group, or Bible study, please let us know!