Saturday, August 23, 2014

Home Assignment - Summer 2014

So, when we look back at our blog and Facebook pictures and can sometime seem like being on Home Assignment in the States is like one big long vacation with cool road trips thrown in. Like  in the picture above, where we're hanging out with relatives in the woods of Northern Minnesota.Well...sometimes it is like that, but...Home Assignment also includes a lot of other stuff, like communicating back and forth with our co-workers in the Philippines. We may be in the States, but our new missionaries are still studying language, and things are still being worked on and revised and changed. So, there has been lots of writing back and forth, which can turn into a surprising amount of work.

We also represented the Philippines at a Field Fair at the NTM training center. We spent several days sharing about our ministry in the Philippines, and also told about the needs we have for more workers. We're praying more people come to the Philippines as missionaries!

And, it's a LOT of long miles on the road with four young kids. We LOVE to see our friends and family and supporters, but sometimes we wish they could live just a little closer together. :)  Here we are with friends in northern Minnesota...

And this is us the next day with a friend in Canada...

Canada again, different friends, these ones used to serve in our town in the Philippines.

then back to Minnesota, with family.

Then Wisconsin, with family...

Then, Wisconsin again, more family... :)

We saw co-workers from the Philippines...

Hung out with Uncle Micah in Chicago...

Uncle Brandon in New York...

And former co-workers in New Jersey. I think we were in 5 states that day. We had lunch with our friends in NewJersy and, then we slept in Virginia.

Then we saw more family in Virginia...
And reconnected with our home church in Virginia. Brooke shared with the ladies group that her grandmother used to be part of.

Brian shared about missions a couple of times at church....

And we took another trip to see friends in a couple more states. Thankfully, they had Legos!

While traveling, we ran into some family friends while we were eating in Chik-Fil-a. A lady walked up and asked "Are you Brooke?" We go to see people that we hadn't connected with in years, all because we decided to EAT more Chikin!
Then we saw more friends...

And more!

Then we drove to North Carolina to see friends who had grown up with us in the Philippines.

And, we had halo-halo at Red Ribbon, a Filipino eatery and bakery that has a location in Virginia.
Don't know what halo-halo is? Read about it here!

For once, somebody drove to see us! Wll, actually, they were friends who were visiting Virginia and it worked out to see them. That was fun!

We also got to visit some friends who have all kinds of animals on their property. The kids loved holding the chickens and petting the goats.

And, we got to go to a Philippine-American friendship festival with some Philippine-American friends. It was great to get to speak Visayan with some of the people at the festival!

Ate some more good food....

Saw a bunch more family...

And helped with VBS at our home church in Virginia. Brooke helped with the nursery and Brian shared about missions with the kids. 

While we were staying in Virginia, we also had the chance to volunteer in our church's soup kitchen outreach. And, the best part was getting our kids involved...It was so cool to see our kids, even though they're young, willing to help and do their best to serve people. One of the most important things we want to do with our kids, is let them know that what we do is not mommy and daddy's ministry. It is Our Family's ministry, and they are an important part of it.

We both grew up as Missionary Kids, and one thing we really remember as we look back, is that our parents involved us and made us feel like we were a part of the ministry...not just an annoyance or kids that were getting in the way.

It's something worth considering. If you have a chance, start volunteering in a ministry where you can bring your kids. At first, they may not be able to do a lot, but our kids loved putting on the plastic serving gloves and trying to carry drinks to people, or food, or whatever. 

Kids often want to help, and we can start showing them that even when they are young, their participation is important and valued. Lord-willing, it can be the entry-point to a lifetime of service, regardless of their future occupation.

After VBS, it was off to Washington D.C....




And back to more family in Minnesota! far!

Then, we went to Northern Minnesota/North Dakota to see former co-workers...
We said goodbye to our former co-workers, drove straight back to our other home church in Minnesota, and started another VBS that evening. Brian had a great time sharing about languages and Bible translations and other aspects of missions with the different groups of kids.

Brooke helped with the missions presentations, and was a roving helper all over the place!

We finished off the week with the church's version of waterworld...complete with dunk tank and a plastic water slide that went down the side of a hill. It was fun!

And, the next morning at 4 AM, we got in the van, and drove 13 hours to Missouri. 

So far,  over the last three months, we've driven about 11,000 miles, drove through about 17 states,  seen a LOT of people, and had a great time...It's been so awesome to reconnect with people we haven't seen for years.

But it's also tiring, stressful, and kinda crazy...traveling for 3 months with four little kids. That's why we're taking a break from traveling. 

Until Saturday.

 Then we're going to the West coast. After that, we're going East again. And by then, it will be October. We might try to stay put for a while after that.

Please keep us in your prayers as we travel! We love what we do, but it gets a little exhausting too...

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