Blessed to Be a Blessing

Liz's son, Benjamin, enjoying a playground this past summer.

Liz’s son, Benjamin, enjoying a playground this past summer.

As our furlough in the United States nears an end, I marvel at how rich a time these past months have been. When we arrived back on home soil in July, we were tired and soul-weary. We had completed three years abroad, spent time learning two different languages, gone through culture shock and acclimated to a number of things that would have seemed strange or frightening before—street protests, tarantulas, crazy traffic, tropical storms and ever-present poverty. Add in some sweltering heat and poor infrastructure and it was a recipe for exhaustion!

When we first came back, we were delighted by the “little things”: air conditioning, wide roads with clear lanes of traffic, grocery stores stocked full of anything and everything we might want. We enjoyed the comfort of staying in homes with climate control, and that lacked tall security walls topped with razor wire. Our children relished public playgrounds, visits to the library, field trips to zoos and museums, and time playing with cousins and friends. We sent time replacing bleach-stained clothes and too-small shoes, as well as stocking up on reading materials, special food items and hard-to-find household supplies.

We were glad to worship with our home church as well as travel across several states to share about the work of MAF in Haiti with our ministry supporters; and we were grateful to God for providing for our financial ministry support needs. We spent time listening to the Lord to be sure that returning to Haiti was His will for us at this time; as it says in Jeremiah 6:16, we wanted to “stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it.” God reconfirmed His calling for us, and so we are now expectantly preparing for our second term overseas.

Now, we are cherishing time with family during the Christmas season. All in all, furlough has been a time in which the Lord and His people have poured blessing into our lives. We look forward to returning to Haiti in a few weeks to pour out that blessing on others!

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