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Showing posts from July, 2013

Missionary Retreat Fellowship

Some time back in the '60's, a missionary family told a sympathetic couple that coming on furlough was so difficult because they had no place to live.  Coming back to the USA entailed renting a house for a year and begging, borrowing, or buying furniture and furnishings, all of which then had to be gotten rid of when the year was up.  Through this conversation, God gave them the vision of a place where missionaries could live with a minimal amount of set-up hassle.  They could move in with their suitcase of clothes, settle in to a comfortable home, be renewed and refreshed, and then move out at the end of their furlough (or home assignment as we now call it), head back to the field, and another missionary would move into their house.  A local farmer donated several hundred acres of wooded land on a hillside in the Poconos and Missionary Retreat Fellowship was born.

Today MRF has seven homes available for missionaries to use while on home assignment.  Each one is tastefully deco…

Tourists in Lancaster County

Where we normally live, I am certainly not a true insider, but I'm not a tourist, either.  I have a certain understanding of the culture and what is acceptable and what isn't.  Often we chuckle over clueless and very obvious tourists.

So, when we spent a night in Lancaster County, one of the things I most wanted to see was the Amish way of living.  Of course, I knew I was going to look like one of those clueless tourists who stick out like a sore thumb.  

We stayed overnight at Walnut Lawn Bed & Breakfast near Lampeter, PA.  A friend had given us a very generous gift to "spend on yourselves", so we decided on a night at a Bed & Breakfast. While "shopping" on line for a B&B, this one attracted me because the rooms looked fairly simple and tastefully decorated (I don't like a lot of flowery stuff and clutter).  The clincher was that the proprietors had served in the Peace Corps after their retirement so we figured we'd have world travel in c…

What Does a Missionary on Home Assignment Do, Anyway?

What a missionary does on home assignment (aka furlough) differs from missionary to missionary, of course.  It also depends on the length of time they are home.  But one thing they don't do is sit around doing nothing!

Here are some of the things we've done this home assignment.

Attended Suzanne's graduation from Cedarville University.

Spoke at 12 different churches.

Visited our mission headquarters in Charlotte and had three very busy days of interviews and taking care of business.

Traveled over 14,000 miles by car and plane.

Slept in at least 16 different beds.

Spent time with family.

Created a prayer card.

Addressed envelopes to send out prayer cards and wrote personal notes to all of our supporters (over 200 envelopes addressed).

Had doctor and dentist appointments.

Bought some supplies to take back to Niger and packed them (John is amazing.  He's done all the packing this time!  Last time I ended up doing it all.)

Relaxed on our back deck.

Attended a wedding.

Watched fireworks.

Catching My Attention

R*m*dan started this week, so my mind has been on that and many of the links I'm posting here have to do with Isl*m.  

Marilyn, over at CommunicatingAcrossBoundariesBlog, has written an article on engaging with or rejecting our M*sl*m neighbors.  No matter what you think about the religion, get to know M*sl*ms personally.  Just to whet your appetite, Marilyn writes: Engaging with people over their beliefs does not mean we are watering down our own. How did many of us come to believe that relationships, friendships and listening mean that we are being false to that which we believe? That which we hold precious? So the month of R*m*dan comes around and we have a chance to live out what we want others to live at Christmas. We want others to say“Merry Christmas” – so to your M*slim friends you might say “R*m*dan Kareem” or “R*m*dan Mubarak”. Or better still, ask them – ask them what to say. Ask them what R*m*dan means and what traditions accompany this time of fasting. And ask yourself…