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Sweet Hellos and Sad Goodbyes

November 18, 2016

In the months prior to this trip back to the US, we sweetly anticipated all of the hellos.  We were going to see family – ALL of Matthew’s siblings, no small feat when there are five of them, each one in a different state, plus parents, friends, some churches, and of course, there’s the food!  Somehow, food is a big draw when you live outside of where you grew up.  And the hellos have been as sweet as anticipated!

But we forgot about the goodbyes.  At first, they were difficult as we said goodbye, but then we drove off to the next hello and things were sweet again, with only fond memories of time spent with the family we had just left.  Now, as we are drawing to a close and all done traveling, we’ve essentially said all of our hellos and now must endure sad goodbyes.  Each goodbye has gotten progressively harder.  Tears have been shed, not just ours but the kids!  They realize these people that they enjoy, and who have showered them with love, are not going to see them again for a few years.  And years is such a long time to a child.

So, please continue to pray as we wrap up our time in the US.  Pray for Levi, Amelia, Axel, and, yes, even Piper, as the goodbyes are confusing and difficult the more time we are around people who are becoming familiar.  Pray for us, that we can know how to handle their hearts with the sensitivity and vision for the work God has called our WHOLE family to do!

We are also daunted by the amount of work that needs done before we leave back to Congo.  While this is a rest furlough, we have follow up dental appointments, just wrapped up two days of doctor visits (oh, to be a family of six), eye appointments, banks, etc. and the gathering of supplies in between visiting friends and family here in Idaho.  There is a bit of stress with how much is left to do and so little time!

Also, if you saw us in person, you are probably anticipating a word about our return date.  At this point, our tickets are for December 7th, but as Congo inches closer to what was supposed to have been the President’s last day in office on December 19th, we are watching and waiting, along with upper management, to be sure that return date is a wise one.  Don’t fear!  Not only is God in charge, but we aren’t in fear for our personal safety when we return, but rather the stress and expense of a potential evacuation might be worth just delaying our return a few weeks.  Because we are only ten minutes from MAF headquarters, Matthew is able to return to work even if we needed to wait.  So, pray for clarity and decision markers to be obvious.  Of course, pray for Congo, our team there, and the Congolese people!

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