Sunday 22 November 2015

Home Assignment

For the past month I have been on home assignment! So for the past month I’ve been mostly in Northern Ireland, minus a little trip to Wales and England. And I’ll be here until 29th December, minus a little trip to England.

So what is home assignment and what am I up to?

Every two years or so missionaries are often required to have an extended period of time in their home country. In June I passed the two year mark of living in the Czech Republic, but with May-September being so busy in terms of ministry, I decided to postpone my home assignment until October.

This time of home assignment has a couple of purposes. It gives me time to reconnect with my family, friends, home church and supporters. One of the hardest things about being a missionary is being so far from family and friends so it’s wonderful to have this extended time with them.

This is also a time of rejoicing – during my time in the UK I’m speaking in my home and sending church, as well as in a couple of other churches, and sharing about how God has been at work over the last two years. I’m also spending time with my supporters, thanking them and telling them how God has used their resources and prayers in His kingdom.

Finally this is a time of raising (I had to keep with the r theme!). After serving for two years it is natural that some of my financial support has dropped a little and so I’m asking people to prayerfully consider partnering in this ministry prayerfully and financially.

My goal for this time is to be on mission well here, so I can be on mission well in central and eastern Europe. This means I hope to reconnect with people well, and raise my additional support needs. It also means going to things like dentist appointments and receiving chiropractic care (something that’s not available where I live but that is oh so good for my back!).

This is not “time off” – in fact in many ways it’s a whole lot busier than my life in Czech as I’m still doing my international role, just from a distance, in addition to meetings and talking in churches.

Home assignment is such a weird time. In the last two years Czech has very much become home, which is such a gift of grace. And so both are home in some ways and in some ways neither are home. I miss both. I love both. I have culture shock in Northern Ireland and at times being able to understand every single conversation happening around me just feels obnoxiously loud.

It’s weird to be outside of my “normal routines” and there are so many people I miss. I also miss ginger and lemon tea and my wonderful girls in my small group Bible study have promised to keep me some Christmas cookies. I got to speak Czech in Belfast on Friday night and oh how it did my heart good to speak a language I’m still very much learning.

And, at the exact same time, I cannot communicate the joy it has been to see so many friendly faces and talk about the many things God has been doing. It has been so wonderful to sit with friends, catch up on their lives and hold new little people that have been born since I left. Home assignment has been going so well and I’m excited to continue to be in the UK for the next five weeks and then head back to Czech for the next two years before another home assignment!

Please pray for the remainder of my time here – as I share in churches and with individuals, and that God would abundantly provide partners for this ministry. And that I would go back to Czech refreshed and excited to continue to serve there!