Our Top 10 List of Things Learned While On Furlough

Last Sunday afternoon our sending church held a re-commissioning service for us before we left to return home to South Africa. Almost 2 1/2 years had passed since we had been in the states. This is what we shared as we said farewell to our friends and family:
Our top ten list of lessons learned while on furlough in the states:
10. How many people does it take to carry on a conversation while eating a meal together?
It depends how many of them have Smart phones.
Over and over we would be at a restaurant and watch couples or a family not saying one word to each other but engaged with their phone instead.
9. Some people thought our skin should be darker having lived in Africa.

Actually we try to protect ourselves from the sun. One can be burned from our African sun in twenty minutes. Just ask Deb’s dad. He knows all about it.

8. There is nothing in America like good ol’ South African boerewors cooked on the braai grill.
7. Speaking of food. Do you remember the “Freshman 15”? Well, we are proof there is a “Furlough 15.” 
Unfortunately we didn’t realize we would gain the 15 lbs. in our first three weeks.
6. Some people thought we lived in a hut and ate nothing but rice and beans.
Which brings us to-
5. Some people actually don’t read our newsletters or they would know that is not the case.
4. Chewing gum during our presentations helps with keeping our mouths moist and Deb not so nervous.
On a more serious note…
3. We are blessed with friendships that feel like we have never left. We treasure those relationships.
2. Saying goodbye isn’t any easier the second time around.
1. While we struggled with not hearing from some of you in the beginning, we now realize we have always been in your thoughts and prayers
You have blessed us in so many ways while we have been here. We are so thankful for you.

As a missionary what are some things you learned while back in your home country on furlough? What are some odd questions or comments people made about your life as a missionary?

2 thoughts on “Our Top 10 List of Things Learned While On Furlough”

  1. I love it – the Furlough 15!! Now I have a name for it! Everything you wrote is so true. When people ask why I’m not darker, I always just look at them and say, uh, we try and stay out of the sun as much as possible!

  2. These are great and true observations 🙂 saying goodbye isn't any easier for those you're leaving the second time around either …or 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th…so on and so forth…:) glo

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