A Change of Pace
When I was growing up, our family rubbed shoulders with a lot of missionaries when they would come home on furlough. For whatever reason, most of those missionaries were on a “four years on the field, one year in the States” schedule. Fast-forward to today, and my family, not being sent out of a missions organization, has always had the freedom to set its own schedule. As our family has grown, the time between our trips to America has lengthened, but our furloughs have stayed about the same (anywhere from 3-6 months). While there are various reasons for this, one of the main ones is that we have always stayed with our parents. And while this does have a lot of advantages, not having your own space to be a family is hard, and we have always looked forward to getting back to our own home in Ukraine.
All cozied up in our living room.
All that to say, we feel like it’s time for us to take a “real” furlough. On the one hand, Ukraine is our home, and there is much about it we love. On the other hand, there are aspects of life in a foreign country that are draining, and we feel like the best thing we can do for the emotional health of our family is to take a step back for a bit.
So what will this “real” furlough look like? In the spring of 2022, our plan is to pack up our belongings in Ukraine and put them in storage. We will then fly to Colorado, attend the wedding of Nathan’s brother, and travel to Texas, where we hope to rent a house in the vicinity of Katelin’s parents, likely for a year. One other note of clarification is that while the word “furlough” generally implies a break from work, our furlough will be more of a break from life in Ukraine than a break from ministry. A large portion of my ministry responsibilities can be done remotely, and I am optimistic that the physical distance between us and Ukraine won’t slow me down much.
And what about once our furlough is over? Then what? It’s quite possible that we will be all rested up and ready to return to Ukraine, pull our stuff out of storage, and pick up where we left off. But that’s not the only option. It’s possible that God is using this situation to move us in another direction, perhaps in a direction that we haven’t yet anticipated. Regardless, we are simultaneously apprehensive and excited about the changes the next couple years have in store for us, and we would appreciate your prayers as we move forward and seek God’s will for our family.
Things are about to change! Katelin's mom is supposed to arrive tomorrow, and the baby — around Thanksgiving. Our days of being a "small" family of six are numbered!
Regarding the birth, everything is looking good. Katelin and the baby are healthy. I'll be tested for coronavirus when Katelin is admitted, and assuming the test comes back negative, I'll be allowed to be at the birth. So we'd appreciate your prayers that everyone would be healthy and for a good labor and delivery!
Ready to meet their new brother!