The life of a missionary can often be somewhat nomadic. First, there is the initial move out of one’s home country to the place where the missionary will minister. Typically, missionaries have gone for a term at a time, punctuated by furloughs – also known as “home ministry assignment or HMA”. This can be a lot of moving around! Additionally it is not uncommon for God to move missionaries from one ministry assignment to another – whether in the same nation or in a completely different nation or even language group!
One question people might have is: Where do missionaries live while on home assignment? This is a good question because traditionally the missionary home assignment or furlough can be anywhere from weeks to a whole year! Most missionaries are by no means idle during their home assignment. They are expected to visit their financial supporters and sponsoring churches to give updates on the work on the field, giving glory to our Triune God for bringing the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the nations!
Thankfully God provides for His servants, but it is not always easy for the missionary. Sometimes a missionary owns a home back in his or her passport country. But most often not. Some have generous relatives who may offer a place to stay. Others have financial supporters who share their home or open their vacation home for a season. A few churches have what is akin to the traditional parsonage or manse: the missionary house.
“I want to see snow! When can we see snow?” Snow has been a hot topic of conversation in our house during the first three months of our one year Home Ministry Assignment (HMA). Continue reading Family Update→
What is it like to live without a car? What challenges does that present to the large family? Growing up in suburban America, it always seemed somewhat romantic to think of city living, where care ownership is optional and everywhere you need to go can be reached on foot or by bus. We have been living this city life now for 15 months, and I wanted to share our experiences.
Incredible view! Despite my fear of heights, the trip up the chair lift to the top of a small peak in the Uruguayan resort city of Piriápolis was worth it. After several important meetings with visitors from the U.S., we took them on a day trip to this summer vacation destination. Continue reading Piriápolis→
Summer is over in Montevideo. This is a picture of one of the beaches we enjoyed going to this summer. It is called Pocitos. The beach is across the water near the building skyline in the background. There are many people from Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil on the beaches of Uruguay each summer.
“I’m sorry, you can only register one of your documents today,” the woman behind the counter told Ray. He stood there with all 10 of the documents (9 birth certificates and a marriage certificate) that need to be registered before we can begin the process of getting our visa to live in Uruguay. Although he wasn’t clear why only one document, he dutifully filled out the form and paid the fee and then returned home. Continue reading A Day in Our Life→
One week ago we had just returned to Florida from the Dominican Republic, and we were working hard at packing and cleaning to get ready to fly to Uruguay. Not surprisingly, our youngest had come down with a respiratory illness, and all of us suffered from an upset tummy from the food/water. But nonetheless, on Thursday, some friends drove 3 vans to the airport with us and all of our luggage (19 check-in, 8 carry-on, 9 personal bags, a stroller and a carseat) to see us off. With all the help, it didn’t seem like too much stuff. So we got in line and our friends said goodbye. We expected just a routine, if slow, check in. Continue reading Our First Few Days in Uruguay→
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8).
Can you remember that time in your childhood where you really started to ponder the great questions of existence? Was there ever a time when you thought something like, “What if I were never born?” or the unsettling thought, “What if there were nothing instead of something?” It was about the fourth grade when I suddenly came to grips with my finiteness. The questions for me were, “What if I never existed?” and “What if God never existed?” Continue reading God’s Self-Existence and Flying to Uruguay→
Breaking down in a strange city and being cared for by a local church. Being invited on Sunday morning to come share a meal with a family we have just met. Being hosted by a couple for a long weekend, complete with meals and beds for our large family. Being allowed to stay at an apartment or unoccupied house for a matter of weeks or months by friends or even strangers. Hospitality. This is something as missionaries that we are honored to both give and receive. And as we are on the brink of leaving for the field and I look back on our 8 months on the road visiting churches in the US, I can say that the one of the biggest (maybe the biggest?) spiritual blessing is the blessing of seeing God’s people practice hospitality towards us. Continue reading Simple Christian Hospitality→
Years ago, when Grey Davis first became governor of California, I remember reading a newspaper article which voiced the concern that Governor Davis might become “lost amid the paper clips” – that he would be so focused on managing the details that he could lose sight of the big picture. Since we moved out of California soon after this, I did not follow whether this humorous prediction came true. However, I always remembered what it said. It stuck out to me because of my own tendency to “get lost amid the paper clips”. Ray is the visionary; I am the one thinking in details. If there was a great tornado coming, I would be the one not gathering my children and fleeing, but making sure we had some snacks and extra blankets to take with us.