The Value of Fun and Home

Thursday, July 28, 2016

When we started this Home Assignment 3 months ago I had a few worries. I knew that we would be crazy busy, we had made an ambitious plan to be able to see all of our supporting churches and even try to speak at a new one, see many of our supporters and family all with letting the kids feel of normality and naps every once and a while. 

However I worried that our time Home would be too 'fun'. 

I didn't want our time home to be so much fun that the kids would think about going back to Kinshasa with dislike because of all of the new things and places they have been able to see while we are in Canada. 

Canada in buried deep in my soul, I love it's smells, sights and Culture. Congo is hard for me, the smells and the sights in Kin are not usually pleasing and the culture is well... Hard. 
But I forget that for Ruth and Pascal Kinshasa is home. They see the sights and the sounds with the beauty that childhood gives them. Sometimes an outlook and a trust that I wish I had.

So I was talking about my dilemma with a former MAF MK and a good friend of ours Tyler, and I was asking what he remembered about their furloughs when we he was kid and he said that he remembered it just being lots of fun. 
"Oh boy", I thought to my self, just what I was worried about and asked if it then made it harder to go back to the field. 
"No way" he said, "Botswana, was still home and we still wanted to go back."
He encouraged me to change my perspective a bit to allow not just a bit of fun into our travels but as much as I could between all our open houses, church visits and time changes.

I don't think I wasn't planning on having fun but I think this really freed me up from the guilt or worry about what that fun meant. 
Tyler was proved right, for even though all of the fun things that we did and the birthday presents received Ruth about once a week has asked when we were going home. Going back to Kinshasa. 
Then we would sit down and tell her the list of where we were going and who we were seeing sort of as a count down of different beds to sleep in before Kinshasa instead of days. 
I think she started to ask when we were in Grand Prairie, where they had tons of fun hanging with Grandma and Grandpa Bradfield, going swimming, to a dinosaur museum, petting zoo and a birthday party. 
In GP we were so blessed with having a great open house and being able to introduce Nick and the Kids to many of my friends for the first time. Also it was so encouraging to present our ministry with MAF to what I consider my home church of CFA, that place really set me on such a Christ centred path to be able to be where I am today.

We then took a crazy road trip for our Vacation portion of our home assignment to visit Nicks best friend since well... birth, in Kamloops, BC.

They just has a baby a few months ago, it was so great to be able to catch up on life with them and to be able to show the beautiful Rocky Mountains to the kids. We were even able to go to the same lake, (though not the same spot) where I grew up going for vacation on the Shuswap. While we were there we were able to see the amazing Kamloops Wildlife park with mostly all Canadian animals that cannot be released into the wild.

We then made our way though the night, hoping the kids would sleep on the drive. Ruth did, pascal not so much. Arrived back in Edmonton at 3am for just a day, repacked, saw my sister and a few other close friends one last time then flew back to Kitchener, Ontario. 

This was our last new bed to sleep in before we headed to Kinshasa. Here we visited a few more people we were unable to see when we were first here, see one last movie, one or two last shopping trips. We even went to Storybook Gardens in London, On. It's like Disney for 4 year olds. The girls got their faces painted, there were (small) rides pirate magic show, puppet show and even a Princess meet and greet. 

The kids are now down for one last sleep the off we go back to Congo. Oddly enough it's probably going to be cooler in temperature in Kinshasa then here in Kitchener. The kids are so excited to go back to their beds, their cat Merry and you know staying in one place for longer then a week ;-)