Reason #5 – My kids have grown immeasurably!
Both Josh and Andrew were born in Chile and had no memory of the states before coming back on furlough. Katie was 28 days old when we left for the field and has never been back for any length of time. They have thoroughly enjoyed so many things about the states. Here are a few highlights:
1. They have spent time with extended family like never before. They actually know their cousins and have made friendships with them! (You can only understand this one if you live oversees.)
2. Our home church has welcomed them so well. They love when it’s time to go to Vision. For Lori and I, it’s very important that they have deep roots in their home church.
3. We spent a week in Washington DC exploring the monuments and museums. They’re getting a grasp on American history and what it means to be American.
4. After hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours in the car, they’ve seen 20+ states. They’ve played in the ocean in Florida, hiked trails in the Smokey Mountains, and seen the snow in Ohio.
All three have adapted to American culture, customs, food, etc. (If you are not a missionary, this will not make any sense! If you are, then, no further explanation is required).
Despite the fantastic time on furlough, they incessantly talk about Chile. Unaided by their parents, they made countdown calendars to our departure for Chile. Everyday they tear off another number and cheer about how few days are left. They say their “real” friends are in Chile, and they’re ready to get back.
Ideally, they will love both Chile and America, both Chileans and Americans, both Chilean culture and American culture. Our ultimate goal is to have bilingual and bicultural children, but this would never be possible without a furlough.
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