Eight Days and a Funny Word

Just eight days left in the United States.

Of course that is not forever, we will return, after-all this is our “passport country”.  I will be back with Matthew when he settles into college life, and in 2-3 years all of us will be back for another time of home-assignment.

We found that a lot of people were a little confused about our time of home assignment at first.  What is it?  What do you do with your time?

Let’s just say our time has been filled-up.  I could  give you the list of all that we have crammed into just over 6 months of time “at home,” but I think it would make for a boring read.  I will leave you with this thought… Home assignment is hard work.  Raising support is an aspect of our work that takes time, lots of it, and a self-driven effort which is often hard to muster.  It also escorts you on a ride of highs and lows as the unexpected rush of a “yes” is followed by the disappointment of a “no.”  And there is the flurry of paperwork and “get-your-house-in-order” items that land on your plate while at home, all of which contributes to a work-load that brings unmistakable clarity to the fact that we are not on vacation.  It sheds light on the fact that there are those that really know what this is and those that really do not understand.

And while not on vacation, we do find the time rejuvenating.  Enriched with people we love, things we love to do, see and taste…OK, eat…too much at times.  We are filled by being home.  Our hearts are here with you.

The importance of home assignment goes beyond the obvious like “taking a break” and proves itself as a necessary component of our work.  It is a time that brings clarity to our sense of call, gives opportunity to wrestle with the difficult aspects of what we do, minister to and be ministered to by those around us at home… though we regret the part about the expanding waistline.

With only a handful of days before we return to Africa, I’ve realized that home assignment is a funny word, because even though we are “at home” and we LOVE our “home,” we now sense our home as being somewhere else.

Our assignment is overseas.  We will be living in Kafue, Zambia and we will, at some point, call it home.  It sounds funny to me now to say that we are finishing our home assignment and returning… ummm…  home.  To our next home assignment?

I guess the saying holds true, “Home is where the heart is.”

So as we wrap up and say our goodbyes for now, and enter into transition will you hold us in your prayers?

But wait!  There is something that cannot be neglected.

We must acknowledge the amazing amount of support and encouragement we have received while in the States.  Our nomadic lifestyle makes us, for lack of better words, “high maintenance”.  When we come home it is not without needs… we need a place to stay, a car to drive, help with the kids, and the myriad of small items like printers, beds, cookware, and winter clothes.  And then there’s those who helped us spread the word about Zambia and raise support for this ministry….

How can we possibly have the words to express our thanks?

A great-big special thank you with a giant hug (and perhaps a few tears) is needed for the folks that allowed us to stay in their homes…. not for just a few days, or even weeks… but months!  And thanks to those who graciously lent us their cars despite the fact that our most recent driving experience was on the left side of the road.  To the handful of people that put their heads together and helped us, really helped us, transition from one ministry to another… to do it healthfully, thoroughly, and in a God-honoring way… wow… thank you!  Many, many thanks for all the people who took care of our kids, let us borrow stuff, fed us, entertained us and made us feel welcomed home.  And the folks who took the bull by the horns amazed us with their selfless efforts to raise support for this ministry with big, time-consuming events, and they did … and continue to do so … with grace, offering their time, energy and resources… a holy sacrifice.  So many of you ministered to us and we are deeply grateful.  We are so proud to be called Christian and hold you up as examples of selfless love.

So as we make our way back to Africa, think of us and know that we appreciate you, love you, and think of you all of the time.  Soon this blog will be filled with stories from Zambia… the people we serve, and life in Africa.  Can’t wait to get blogging about all that God is doing in us and through us and to share with you all the good news of changed lives!

Love, Jennifer

PS  We are still raising support.  Join the team!  And watch your investment produce kingdom results!  Click on the link.  You will be encouraged and find joy in knowing your support serves the orphaned, the vulnerable and the rural poor in Zambia.  Thank you!

www.TheAntiochPartners.org

Want pictures?  We just uploaded at Picasa.  You will find a link on our “snap-shots” page.

 

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