It’s hard for me (DeAnna) to write this blog because it reveals ugliness in myself. We are all sinners and have ugliness, however, we usually try to hide it and not share it with others. Just because someone is in full-time ministry doesn’t mean they aren’t people. In the mission community it’s said that you can start to tell who’s ready for furlough/home assignment because of how they are acting or speaking. I fear that I’ve given others around me through my actions and speech, the clear sign that I’m ready for a furlough/home assignment. That’s where this blog has stemmed from.
In my opinion the “readiness for furlough/home assignment” behavior comes from stress of trying to prepare for a future life (housing, vehicles, furnishings, schooling, speaking engagements, doctor’s appointments, clothes shopping, getting cell phones, etc…) in your passport country while trying to juggle your daily life in your host country. I think this living with one foot in both worlds leads to discontentment in your host country – grass being greener on the other side mentality. I also think it may seem easier to leave a place if you’re not as content in that place, for example, being judgmental of your host country in hopes it won’t affect you as much when you leave.
Top Ten Signs a Missionary is Ready for a Furlough/Home Assignment (in my opinion)
10. You’re distracted in your thoughts trying to predict how life will be in your passport country while you are currently living in your host country
9. You start tying up loose ends, cleaning things out, paring down
8. You’re counting down and there’s still six months before the date on your airplane ticket arrives
7. You see an airplane flying overhead and mourn that you aren’t on that plane
6. You start to disconnect from others in your host country
5. You try to reconnect before arrival with others in your passport country
4. The things that once rolled off in your host country, now drive you nuts or angers you – like power outages, water cuts, being called “the white” or heavy traffic – just to name a few!
3. You’re more judgmental of others
2. You’re jealous/cynical of the eagerness and innocence overflowing from new arrivals to the field
1. Comments made by others is taken to a whole new hurting level
I’m sure there are other signs as well. The best we can do is pray that God continues to pour out His grace on you as you balance current daily tasks with preparations for coming home.
Have you seen the whimsical sign Denise hangs in her house? I love it. It reads: “Remember, as far as everyone knows we’re a nice, normal family.” DeAnna, you’re nice and normal…it’s just that you’re being so in a vastly different, unique situation and place than to which nearly every person other than you can possibly relate. Love you there. Love you when you’re here. Yep, love you!
Sister, I so appreciate your honesty and candid pen to this blog. You amaze me with what you do day in and day out and how you have taken God’s call on your life and allowed Him to work through you in a country where life is so incredibly different. Like mom said, we love you there, we love you here and we admire your strength.