Who knows what to call it

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:29 am

I know of at least three different names for what my family is about to do. The “old” word for it is “furlough,” which gives the idea of a long vacation or a government employee who can’t come into work until congress gets its act together.

In an attempt to modernize the word, many call it “home service” or “home assignment.” This term gives the idea of our agency in the US sending us back to accomplish some secret mission, “if we choose to accept it.”

Whatever you call it, this summer we’re going to do it.

It’s been three years since the last time we went to the US. We have a ton of supporters who pray for the ministry in Ancona, and who give generously to make it possible. We want to come back and thank them and let them know what God is doing.

We also have family back home – grandparents who haven’t seen their grand kid’s face‑to‑face in far too long. Cousins remember our kids only from pictures. We can’t wait to see friends we haven’t seen in years.

And then there is the other stuff. I need some Kansas City BBQ. Heidi needs to be in a place where things to keep a family of six going don’t cost an arm and a leg. Both me and Heidi need a break. Even after nine years in Ancona, living in a foreign country takes its toll. So it’s time to go “home.”

And yes, I have to include the quotation marks. The whines from the kids about not seeing their friends this summer means the US isn’t “home” to them. We borrow cars and rely on others’ hospitality and get excited if we get to unpack the suitcases and stay put for a while because the US isn’t really “home” any more. My kids’ questions about what “American kids” are like prove that they are about to go to a foreign country, not to their “home” country.

Don’t take any of this negatively. We’re not complaining about coming to the US for a while. It’s just that the longer we are in Italy, the harder it is for me to figure out what to call our time in the US.

But if you’re in Yamhill County, Oregon, Rockford, Illinois, Kansas City, Missouri, Louisville, Kentucky, New Braunfels, Texas, or Joplin, Missouri we would LOVE to sit down and talk to you about everything God is doing in us and with us and through us. We would love to brag on our church members and tell you about the challenges. Our kids can tell you all about Italian schools. Frannie will mix up Italian and English in the same sentence. Whatever it’s called, we’re coming. See you soon!