Monday, November 12, 2007

Our Trip to Colorado

After spending a week with John's family in Golden, we drove to Colorado Springs for Mission Training International's (MTI) Debriefing and Renewal (DAR). Among other things, it's a retreat for returning missionaries. Although we've been back from Brazil for over two years now and plan to return in January, we found it to be an invaluable experience.


The place we stayed for the week-long getaway was a lovely Christian ministry center tucked away among the trees and mountains. It was very peaceful. Here's the room where we stayed:
And the yard just outside the back door:Sixteen families were there, having returned from countries all over the world. We were divided into two groups for the sessions. Here's a photo of our group: These fine people served as missionaries in Haiti, Costa Rica, Thailand, Japan, Malawi (look it up), and Belgium.

This wonderful couple, Bob and Linda, facilitated our group. They spent time in Haiti and Africa and raised two daughters on the field. They shared from their hearts, which spoke to ours. Simply listening to the others' stories and experiences helped us more than we expected. There was a mutual understanding and appreciation of the missionary life style that encouraged us.

We worked together on most assignments but occasionally divided up then came together to compare ideas. Many revelations resulted from our brainstorming sessions. This was my personal favorite: The missionary leaves his homeland as a person yellow in color. He goes to another country that is blue in color. After living as a yellow person in a blue culture, he is forever more green. Therefore, he never again fits entirely into either culture, but instead somewehere in between. It's been observed that children of missionaries feel most at home on the plane between the two countries.

We ate three wonderful meals a day and milled around the foyer during breaks, where we got to know many other missionaries more intimately.

The kids had classes and activities all week. They couldn't have had better teachers. Jonah developed a love for drawing and Andy just asked me this morning if he could go back to his class. They even took a field trip to Whit's End at Focus on the Family.They had a great time hanging out with other missionary kids (MKs) from places like Siberia and Thailand.

John and I even got to sneak off to the Garden of the Gods without children.The whole group came together during our last evening to share talents and stories from the field. I learned that every missionary - and I do mean every - has a funny bathroom story.

The DAR program is appropriately named. We feel we finally had the opportunity to debrief and be renewed. Now we are ready as ever to make the transition back to Brazil. Thanks to all the kind-hearted missionaries we met and to the MTI staff who cared so well for all of us.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

FOR SALE

This, the first house we ever bought, is now for sale. Good bye, living room.It's kind of sad because we've only lived here a year. Good bye, kitchen.Our plan is simple: 1. Sell the house. 2. Move to Brazil. Good bye, dining room.It's a great house and we've enjoyed it, but it's time to move on. Good bye, bedroom.You'll notice that there are no people in these photos - only rooms. Good bye, office.
Yes, this is our house. Good bye, bathroom.But our home is wherever our family is. Good bye, playroom.
So, I guess we can get another house in Brazil. Good bye, Grandma's room.

Hello, adventure!