Baby Joys Inspiration

God’s Providence: A Furlough Story

Baby Andrew’s birth was the first major event of our time in the United States.

This post first appeared on Assist News Service in September 2017.

I used to write a column here about my experiences as an American missionary raising children in Ukraine, but it’s been over a year since my last piece. During that time, we went on furlough, had another baby, returned to Ukraine, and moved to a different house. A string of unexpected circumstances made this an often overwhelming season, and I needed to take a break from writing this column.

The first surprise was my husband injuring his knee shortly before our trip to the States. It was still giving him so much trouble when we flew that he had to use crutches. We must have looked like a hopeless menagerie after we checked in and headed towards security: a man on a beat-up pair of borrowed crutches that were missing their rubber feet and had a tendency to slip on the smooth airport floors, a woman who was eight-months pregnant, and four children ranging in age from 3 to 9! Plus a carseat, backpacks, and several rolling carryons. It really seemed like the wrong timing for this injury, but it turned out that the timing was just right.


10 Ways to Help a Missionary on Furlough


This post originally appeared on Assist News in January 2015.

My family and I are not actually in Ukraine at the moment. We are home on furlough for two months. Writing that sentence makes me feel conflicted, because after having lived abroad for so many years, the term “home” has become perplexing. We no longer feel fully at home anywhere, but we have family and dear friends all over the world. As a result, we are privileged to have the feel of homecoming when we travel to many different locations. This is especially true of the American Midwest, where we spent the first month of our furlough.