I promised myself honesty when I started this blog, and let’s be honest, missionary work is not simple. There are many struggles with day to day living that I don’t mention. Like how I spend more time in the morning filling bottles of filtered water for drinking than I do on the never ending pile of laundry. Or how I sometimes hand wash baby cloth diapers because we have not had electricity is so long that we are about to go naked. Or when it is too hot to cook that I serve a jar of peanut butter as lunch to my toddler.
That being said, our family needed a break. We needed time alone together in a different setting. So we took a vacation. We had planned one for later in the year, but based on other families and their needs and schooling schedules, we took one this past May.
This having been only our second vacation together as a family in the almost 9 years of marriage, we all agreed on one thing – tranquility. Vacation for us is a time of rest, together, as a family. It is a time to refresh and regroup, a time for connection, a time for prayer, and a time to meet often ignored needs. This vacation we chose a place that spoke English and was in the same time zone – England. We found a flat for rent with reliable electricity, and consistent high speed internet. For two weeks, we were together without any interruptions. We went for daily walks, we went to restaurants, we went shopping, we explored museums, we played in the public parks and enjoyed going barefoot in the grass without having to be concerned about what parasite we could pick up, we celebrated a birthday, we ate our weight in fresh berries and fish, we went to church, and we rested. We felt free and anonymous, no stares, not having to constantly keep our guard up to see who may be trying to target us because we stood out.
I cannot begin to describe to you how important a break in mission life is. I have heard of several missionary families who lost prayer and financial partners because they took a family vacation when it was expected for them to remain in their host country the entire term; or the families who were shunned for the decision to seek relief together; or even broken friendships from those who do not understand how human we all are sometimes.
Kevin and I have been very blessed to have so many of you who encourage us to take a break, who ask us how our marriage is faring, and those who want to make certain our children are doing well. So without further ado, here are a few photos of our time together:
|Eager and ready for church!|
|Reliving our first sort-of date, 12.5 years later|
|First taste of hot chocolate|
|First moments in grass and enjoying them|
(African grass is quite unforgiving and not a good option for bare feet)
|Relishing nap time snuggles|
|Indulging on one our missed food items - |
smoked salmon salad with Caesar dressing
|"Look mommy! Sean the Sheep!"|
|First time swinging|