We are heading back to Indonesia on August 13th! We were waiting for Eli’s visa and received word that we may have to wait even longer. Then, we decided to just bring him in on a shorter visa since we have to renew all of our visas in October. So, because of the quick thinking of some our fellow MAF employees, we get to return in just a matter a days! And, boy, are we excited!!!
And a little nervous. It’ll be another 30 plus hour travel day from Reno to Los Angeles to Tokyo to Jakarta to Tarakan. But we are looking forward to going “home” and settling into the Tarakan life. I am itching to start flying again, Jess is ready to ramp up for home school, and the kids can’t wait to see their friends. It has been a little longer furlough than we had planned, but the time in the US has been a blessing. We feel refreshed and ready to continue the work which God has called us to perform.
One of the blessings of being in the US is that we were able to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary on July 31st! Wahoo. We even did it without the kids as Jessica’s mom was able to watch all 4 kids. Speaking of Jessica’s mom, it has also been a blessing to spend plenty of time with her as her health is a concern. Without going into all the details, she has an autoimmune disorder and a few other things that make it impossible for her to travel internationally. We will only get to see her when we come back to the US on furloughs. As her health continues to deteriorate, we all cherish the time we can spend together as well as give her time to soak up being with her only grandkids. We thank God for this extra time with her every day.
Also, we have been able to spend some quality time with close friends, especially our best friends. They are going to be heading overseas very soon, so we carved out a little bit of time in order to just hang out together. We rented a small place up at Lake Tahoe for 2 nights and just ate, hang out, and played with kids. (It was a little crazy with 6 kids but we loved it!) It has been such a blessing to be their friends because they have followed us every step of the way and been a huge part of our support team while we were away. We know the times together will be harder and harder, so we are grateful for the times we have gotten together!
Another unexpected blessing was that I was able to complete some online training to renew my flight instructor certificate. I have to do some recurrent training every 2 years to stay current. I probably won’t be in need of using it with MAF for another year, but we did lose a large portion of our team and I need to be ready to help in whatever capacity!
So, we are doing our best to cross off the rest of our furlough bucket list items until we leave on the 13th. Thank you for praying for the visa situation and thank you so much for your love for our family. We are blessed to get to partner with you and with Christ to serve with MAF in Indonesia. As you think of our family, please pray:
- For a good travel day with 4 kids and 5 airports
- For a smooth transition back to life in Tarakan
- For God to fill us with His Spirit so we can love the people of Indonesia and serve them well