My last week in the States was officially designated as "vacation." It took almost that long to figure out how to pack everything in my suitcases. Packing to return to the field is a rather complicated equation based on need/want, availability in PNG, cost, weight-to-space ratio, and some other random factors. Even after repacking more than once, I ended up with an extra suitcase and several boxes going in the mail. (That is what happens when you only get to go real shopping every 2-3 years.)
I enjoyed some precious times with family and friends--such as ice cream with my niece and nephew (whom I am already missing somethin' fierce), lunch with a very special missionary kid, and making smores and campfire pies with good friends. The cookout, by the way, is now officially tradition.
I was scheduled to fly out Monday afternoon about 1 PM... or so I thought until 6:30 that morning when I realized the time had been changed to 10:30 AM. YIKES!!! I scrambled to get ready and finish packing, dropped by for a quick goodbye to my sis and her family, and headed to the airport with Mom and Dad. A chaotic exit was not what I was hoping for, but thank the Lord I made my flight! My route took me from Columbus to Chicago, through Hong Kong, and back to PNG. As the plane descended through the clouds and into the Whagi Valley, I knew I was home.
And it has been good to be home. Now that I have unpacked, it is really nice not to be living out of a suitcase and/or the trunk of a car. Beck and I are catching up after 10 months of not being roomies. Brutus was super excited to see his mama, and has been bouncing around the house all week! Thankfully I am remembering how to speak Pidgin and be a doctor. Most importantly... what a joy to reunite with my PNG family and friends.
"I tell you the truth," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children [or nieces or nephews] for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life."
~ Luke 18:29-30
As I look forward to this upcoming term, my prayer is that in some small way the Lord will use me to bring about His kingdom!