We’ve been on “furlough” (sometimes called “home assignment”) for over 6 months! The time has flown by! One of the important reasons for missionary furlough is to build extended family relationships. Sometimes it is difficult to do this because of the other important things missionaries are trying to do while back in their “home” or “sending” nation. Essential travel, reporting to partner churches, healthcare needs, seeking new financial support, and recharging for future ministry all demand time and attention.
We try to spend quality time with our kids, filling memory banks of their experiences in the USA. Because of the generosity of churches that have provided us missionary housing, we’ve been able to spend significant parts of this furlough in Tennessee where we could see Joy’s parents regularly, and in Florida, where our daughter Lexi Taylor, husband Jonathan, and their kids live. We have seen them nearly every day during the past few months! During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays we were ale to see all of our grandchildren for a few days. We’ve checked in with Tony’s parents. Recently we made 2 long car trips through 18 states to see grandchildren, children, other relatives, and lifetime friends. Although these visits never seem long enough, the moments and memories are very important.
We want our children to love Ecuador. The whole family needs to feel at home there. It is also important that our kids feel known, loved, and welcomed back in the USA. It’s hard for MK’s to identify “home.” I always tell ours that home is wherever our family happens to be. I’m grateful for our extended family all over the USA for welcoming our family and loving us whether near or far.