The most frequently asked question du jour…
“What are you doing?”
There is the, “What are you doing right now while on home assignment?” question and then there is the bigger question, “What are you doing next?” and generally speaking, when we get asked this question, we are actually getting 2 for 1. Most folks are asking both.
If you have been around us at all during this season you may have noticed that we have been a little vague. Or perhaps you have heard us speak to where we believe God is calling us and then we add…. “but we are waiting.” I get it. It seems that if someone was “called” to go someplace, the conversation ought to be compared to shouting the call from the rooftops, speaking to the call with absolute confidence and unwavering faith that in fact, we are going to pursue the call. ASAP.
And while that is true, and there is no doubt we feel like shouting from the rooftops and packing our bags yesterday, we are learning to be intentional about waiting. Waiting on the Lord, that is. We do believe we know where we are going, but we also want to allow space and time for our ears to adjust, our hearts to soften and our prayers to be answered, so that we know, and I mean KNOW …. know-without-a-doubt-no-way-will-you-convince-us-otherwise that what we believe is in fact lining up with what God is asking of us.
We had a friend of ours at our sending agency remind us of how we as Americans, don’t wait. Our strength in decision making and go-get-um work ethics does bring us success in many arenas… well… except those in which we are hoping to seek God.
Self-check, is there anything you need to wait on?
Will you wait with us? Pray with us? We are headed to Georgia for a long weekend to intentionally set aside time to pray, along with our sending agency, for confirmation on the next assignment. We anticipate concluding this time with confirmation.
As for the other question, “What are you doing here? and, What is home assignment anyway?”
Home assignment is a normal piece of overseas mission work. It is common for families (or singles) serving abroad to come home for visiting family and friends, doctors visits, contacting donors, training, and even (gasp) rest. Home assignment typically lasts for some months, anywhere from 1 month to a year.
What are we doing? The short answer… running like mad crazy people. I have learned that airfare purchased during the Christmas season should come with a warning label. We have seen family, spent time with friends, countless coffee dates, weekly meetings, dinner parties, paperwork, shopping, holiday festivities, attended small groups, prepared and sent 2 boys to school, and, (of course) settled into the routine of educating our other 2 children. Coming up next are the doctor appointments, taxes, planning several weeks in California to visit churches, speaking at small groups, calling and writing to individuals, planning for church visits in Colorado, receiving 2 boys back in April, packing and sorting (yet again) and travel planning back to ______, Africa.
Whew. Let’s let the dust settle after that last paragraph.
Would I change any of it? No. I’ve loved being back here in the States to visit and I love this season of generating excitement for what is coming next. Being here and stepping back from our life in Africa also reminds me of how much I love living in Africa.
And though we are busy, busy, busy, we have had times to talk, and think. I write in my journal and share my heart with trusted friends. We get feedback and ideas and have time to read books and do research. All of those things bring clarity to our calling and help us prepare for our next assignment. I’ve loved having this time of renewal remind me of the vision God placed in me for service in the first place and I am anxious to get back and cling to it.
The time is sweet, but it is also running short. Before you know it we will be on our way once again.
So here’s how you can help:
- Help us stay in touch with YOU. If you think we might have an incorrect email address, please send a new one our way. Read our blog and letters, attend an event, meet us for coffee. All of these things help us!
- Partner with us. We are building our support now for the next assignment. If you are already contributing financially, consider an additional gift to help us get there.
- Pray for us. We cannot overstate the power of prayer.
- Help us connect with others. Connecting us with people in your circle helps us get more people excited about what God is doing in Africa. Have a dinner party? Invite us to your small group?
And in all this, know that we really appreciate you. We treasure this sweet time of reconnecting and love having the opportunity to sit face-to-face… a gift we no longer take lightly.
With Joy and Love, Jennifer