Two weeks into a whirlwind 10-week home ministry assignment* and we are deep in the trenches of living that back porch life. We knew before we left Ireland for summer in America that we'd take these first two weeks slow and steady, stocking up on family and friends and food, and it's fair to say we've exceeded at that not-so-lofty goal (with enough sunburns and pool hair to last us till 2020).
But tomorrow, the real work begins: we'll head to Colorado for a week-long debrief retreat and then travel around the midwest till the end of August.
So while we pack another suitcase, here's our top 5 favourites from our #HuberHMA2018 so far:
1. Jetlag induced early mornings. This night owl has become a morning person and I'm wondering why I didn't take advantage of those few quiet hours ages ago!
2. Summer! Yes, it's hot, but it's an actual live, long summer. With swimming pools and outdoor musical festivals and iced coffee for daysssss. (featured photo is from Middle of the Map Fest)
3. Our van. We rented a vehicle from Furlough Ministries in Brillion, WI and they stocked us with goodie bags for each kid, enough wet wipes to get us from Chicago to Colorado and back again, and the best water/coffee flasks ever. Still need iced cold water 8 hours later in 100-degree weather? Check!
4. Grandparents (and new babies!). Our kids adore their grandparents and it's so great to have more than just the two of us love on them for weeks on end. We're also spending some quality time with brand new nephews/cousins and basically remembering why we love our families so much.
5. Did I mention that back porch? Only before 8am is it cool enough to sit out there, but when we do it's like a mini holiday for my brain and body.
*So, What's a "home ministry assignment"?
For many who work in Christian charities overseas, it's a scheduled and structured time (furlough) back in one's passport country. A not uncommon preconceived notion is that it's just a paid vacation back home, and well, yes it can be that. But the main objective is a work one: to report back to our investors, churches and friends what we've been doing with their support lo these many years. It can also involve working on or fulfilling some life support issues: taxes, medical care, drivers license renewals, etc. We've got meetings and power points and sermons scheduled and even a potluck or two. By the end of our time here, we'll have driven nearly 5000 miles in 10 weeks, visited 5 churches and dozens of supporters. And then... we'll go back to our other home, and do the other work.
Worth it? For sure.