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As I started to write this, we were on our way home for what used to be known in missionary circles as furlough. Now we call it “home assignment.”
When I met Mike almost 21 years ago, he was a boat captain studying marine biology and dreaming of a simple life. He wanted to sail around the world . . . with me. Then a few years later he saw a video about tribal missions and he knew that we couldn’t justify sailing when there were people without a chance to hear the beautiful saving gospel of Jesus Christ. So we packed up our sails and headed to Asia Pacific.
This is an unusual home assignment for us because Morgan plans to start college next January. That means we will be returning to the village in the jungle with only three of our four boys.
So as we were bridging cultures on the beautiful island of Bali where western tourism, American food chains, and endless shopping meet the beautiful land and culture we have come to love, I wish I’d had my camera to capture all the memories we made.
But it was so nice to just enjoy our day hands free! However, if I’d had my camera, I would have taken hundreds of pictures. These would have been my favorite snapshots of the day.
Hotels here in this Asian city are known for their big breakfast buffets. One morning I looked around the table with happy boys and plates piled high. The funny thing was that instead of pancakes and made-to-order omelets, three of them had the traditional Asian breakfast of fried rice and chicken soup and noodles.
I would have snapped another great picture when we were at the poolside snack bar and the boys were all lined up with their glasses of orange and mango juices. After all the months of hard work, I was so thankful they all looked so relaxed, healthy, and happy!
We celebrated our 20th anniversary in this Asian city, and I asked Mike to take us all out to dinner. I would have asked our waiter, Bayu, to snap a picture of us around the table. Twenty years and I am so glad that the Lord blessed us with this family. Nachos, club sandwiches, and a huge cobb salad were what we enjoyed. The meal tasted almost like our American home!
Then we finished up the day by a brilliant sunset and a walk on the beach. The sky was exploding with pinks and reds. An evening on the beach in this country is so sweet. Families come out and the little children play. I would have taken a picture of the two little boys who were squealing and running toward the surf. It seems like such a short time ago we were here and my boys were little and Mike took a picture of them all holding hands in front of a sunset like this one.
Then we boarded a plane that took us home. Sisters, nephews, nieces, parents, and grandparents were just a few hours away. After four years away from them, our excitement was hard to contain! The Lord’s plans are perfect.
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