Saturday, August 02, 2008

Home Ministry Assignment

For many years overseas missionaries have been known to take a "furlough". This is commonly understood as a time to visit one's home country, visit family, report to sending churches and perhaps rest from the strain of overseas life.

Recently, I heard "furlough" being referred to as "Home Ministry Assignment", the current mission-speak for home leave.

I appreciate what this term conveys.

We are on a break from potholed roads and bland food. I have been on a break from planning meals and cooking. We are on a break from homeschooling.

Rather than thinking of this time away from Uganda as a "break" though, it is more accurate to think of it as simply, another type of assignment. "Rest" is as allusive as it is when we are serving in Uganda. We must be deliberate about our resting and breathing deeply and stepping away from work.

I will confess to you, this is not our strength. We tend to eat, sleep and breath our occupation.

But, through our years of furloughs we have tried to create moments for our family that lend themselves to rest and regrouping.

I type today from my parents dining room. Their dining room in small town USA. I have spent the last few days/weeks visiting with family, perusing old family pictures, scrapbooking said pictures and remembering. All those little and big moments that God orchestrated to shape and form me. I'm sure that will be a blog post in itself eventually, but before we get there...

I want to go back to the start of this Home Ministry Assignment. God has granted us mercies at every turn...sometimes He has just graciously heard our cries. We have certainly offered HIm many praises. He has astounded us over and over again with His Creation and reminded us of the goodness of His Spirit at work in His people. We've been loved on, encouraged and prayed over in exact moments to reveal God's timing and continuous activity in our lives.

We've needed that and praised Him for that Grace.

Over the next few weeks, travel with me as I remember some stellar moments in a physical journey over many miles.

We will begin in a desert....


Jana said...

I'm so glad to hear from you about your time in your "other home"--I have been checking your blog, hoping to hear about your visits to so many of your beloved places & people!

Keep those posts coming--I'm looking forward to enjoying your furlough with you vicariously!

(Luke also asked me to tell Alex "hi" from him--he vividly remembers his vacation with him at the Brown's lakehouse. You have really wonderful kids!)

Love to you,
Jana Anderson

ddouglass said...

Cheryl & Jeff:
While poking around at lunch for bush pilot videos, I was reminded of my old friend Jeff, off doing the stuff I was dreaming about. This is just a note to say Hi! I'm not sure if I ever met you, Cheryl, or if either of you met my bride while we were at Columbia (oh geez we're getting old). I stumbled on this just the other day - after you were in Sacramento. We are in Fresno, and I would have drug my whole crew up there to see yours. Give Jeff a hug for me. No wait. That probably won't come across the same. Well, maybe if you slap his back uncomfortably while you hug him... ;-)
How can I email you's guys?
One of these days I'll get some shots of us on the web so you all can see us all.
God bless you. Thank you for the inspiration.
David & Tracie Douglass, Mike (21), Melody (19), Matt (17), & Marianne (15)