(This was actually written back in May, but I’m just now putting it up…and just now getting a blog going.)
The similarities of adjusting to life here in Poe Mill to life on the foreign field (at least what we’ve heard and in our brief short-term experience) continue to astound me. One thing we’ve struggled with in our short time here is knowing how to best use the time we have. For those who know us, you know that we stay what most people would call “busy,” though we have learned much about cutting back on the unnecessary. Our first week that we were at this house, our schedule of events was arranged in a way that kept us “out” every night of the week. Tuesday, homeschool graduation; Wednesday, chuch; Thursday, wedding rehearsal and dinner for Ferris/Sands wedding; Friday, wedding; Saturday, dropping stuff off at yard sale; helping Perkins move, and then my sister Kelly and her family came (bring us a chair, TV, and beautiful framed verse). Oh yeah, and Sunday was mother’s day and our first anniversary (!!). So…yes, we didn’t have much time for doing much of anything else.
Since I am still working out of the home, I found it difficult to find time to unpack or really do much of anything around the house. On top of that was the pressing burden for us to get out and meet our neighbors. But how did we balance the two? Our yard was trashed, and the house had a lot of work to be done inside and out before it was even presentable. Be a bad testimony with our yard? Or be a bad testimony by our seeming reclusiveness?
I think we’ll face the same challenge in Madagascar, and probably to an even greater extent. Daily living will most likely take up the majority of our time, there, much like our full-time, outside-the-home-jobs do here. The lessons we’re learning now are invaluable to our future ministry. But it’s not just a “missions course” or a “sandbox version” of the mission field where what we do won’t matter. This is the mission field. Right here in Greenville, SC, where it may be surprising to some to find that life in Greenville does not revolve around a fundamentalist institution (which we do support).