We are by no means experts at doing missions away from our home country….we’ve only been doing it for 5 years. But, we did think it would be fun to share things we find joy in or think at least while serving overseas. (Please note this may not be the opinion of every missionary, this is what ours has learned the last few years, but if it does help you in your relationships with other missionaries….then we are pleased too!) And these are not in order of importanceJ
1. News may seem mundane to you…but to us we cherish it. Who got married, baptized, or the recent move you made….we care about and still want to share in what is going on with your lives. But, if you don’t let us know…even with facebook we may miss it. So personal e-mail of what is going on in your lives we care about and it brings back the familiar to us.
2. Mail really is still in! I know most people don’t write letters much now, since it takes about 6 weeks to reach us. But, it is worth it…even just writing on a post it note with some pictures included to send. Your latest family Christmas picture we love hanging on our refrigerator so our kids can still recognize you. Of course care packages are wonderful with treats we can’t get here…but the best really is pictures. Usually if it is something you all love, chances are we still love it too.
3. We’re not crazy, we’re blessed! Most everyone we meet says, “I couldn’t do what you do!” Yes, you could and you’d love it. We feel so blessed (most moments) that we get to be ministering to those that have so much less and yet are so grateful for people to come and train them and minister alongside them. If you held one child here and held their sweet dark bodies close to you and had them smile up at you, you’d want to stay too. And because of God and all of you, we get too. Yes, we are adventuresome, but God has given us the love for people here and families that encourage us but that we get to see and stay with when back on furlough.
4. Prayers really do matter. We could write a book on all the times we have been struggling and as it resolved we got an e-mail from people saying they had gotten up at 3 am to pray for us as we went through that hardship and that is when it was healed. Or the times people were praising God in joy over things God was doing here.
5. We love leftovers! Not the food, though we do love that too. But, we have so much fun getting for ourselves and passing out to area families here (plus this was always a treat for us ladies in Haiti to get beloved skirts when groups would leave them behind for us) supplies left that you don’t want to haul back or extras your church may have used like Bible Study or VBS materials. Just hang onto the dirty underwear and socksJ
6. We know in the States when people ask how we are in furlough….we’d love to catch up, but unless we sit down over dinner or an extended period…hard to say much other than “doing great or fine”. There’s just so much to share of that’s different from there to go into in a passing minute.
7. Who doesn’t like having visitors? You are a part of home...even if you aren’t family. It means you really care to come take part in the work here. And bring your family….we bring ours and it doesn’t hurt themJ Same with the food we eat and the things we do…our 3 do it…and they are thriving!
8. Still include us….just because most of the time our home base is far away…when back in the States it is nice to be able to get to do things not offered on the field, etc… being a part of a Christmas Nativity or invited to go along to camp with the other kids their age. We felt really blessed as one of our home churches had invited us to their toddler church activities and even let our oldest have her turn at being “Child of the Day” on the Sunday she was back. Those are things they don’t have here, and are fun for our kids to be a part of when back.
9. Read the newsletters….you may not support, but if you sign up for our newsletter…at least read it please. These take time, creativity hopefully, and money to send out. The times when we have sent them out to people and those same people say, “What country are you in again?” makes you know not everyone reads them. We try to keep them short...just a page or 2 at most. It really makes us smile when you mention something about the work going on here when we see you or write about it. We do write them for you.
10. Don’t cut us off…keep us on the prayer chain; getting your newsletter…..we want to rejoice in your news with you. We want to be praying for you too.
Here was a picture of our 1st care package from my sister! It only took 6 weeks to get and our kids went nuts over mail, pictures, and starburst~
So, with that said....we'd love to hear what you think of missionaries and what you'd like to see/hear from us :)