We had an amazing time in the US with friends and family. Our furlough goals of rest, relaxation, and renewal were accomplished! Check, check, check. To ensure that we would really stay inside and take it easy God orchestrated the worst winter in the history of Indiana. It was our first winter in 5 years! It made up for lost time in no time at all!
Our top 5 highlights:
1. Spending time with family. Before we went to the US we decided we would spend our time between Jeff's parents house (the first 2 1/2 months) and Jeff's sister's house (the last 2 1/2). We had so much fun with all of them, but wanted to make sure to spend lots of time with my parents too! We took a trip to Tennessee with them and also to my family farm in La Grange, Indiana. Yeesh, not to mention getting together with extended family! It was great!
2. Spending time with friends. We decided to continue our Brazil Taco Tuesday ritual with some of our friends in the States! It was so much fun to have choices and variety that we don't get in Brazil and to spend time with friends we don't get to see! We went on outings to parks (when the weather got better), the Children's museum, and just visited at their homes! It was fantastic to spend time with so many people!
3. I (Lindsay) went to an AMAZING training program called Community Health Evangelism (CHE)! It absolutely blew my mind! If you have talked with me for more than 10 minutes since I went, I have probably tried to convince you to take the training too. Seriously, the most revolutionary stuff going on in missions right now! chenetwork.org - check it out!
4. Date nights! Grandparents (and friends/family) are amazing! It was so nice to ship the kids off to people who really want them. I know our friends here love them too, but there is ZERO guilt involved when their at your parents' house. Jeff and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary knowing that Melody was in great hands and had lots of other fun date nights exploring Indianapolis!
5. Spending time with Godly, amazing people in their Church homes. BRCC and the Mosaic (and Christ Our Shepherd!) are filled with some of the most encouraging Godly people we know. We got to go to small groups, parties, lunches, etc with a lot of these great people. We really could have included this number five under number one or two since most of those folks are our family and friends. We also wanted to especially mention the great counseling we got through another family friend. It was just the debriefing and thoughtful guidance we needed to hear!
God is amazing and provides just what we need when we need it. The only thing that we hated, was saying good-bye, of course!
We had fun, but it's so good to be home. You know that feeling you get when you have been away for five months and you finally collapse into your own bed in your own home? No? Well, believe-you-me, it's great. ...