Bye Bye America, Canada, and Fast Internet (Just Some Personal Stuff)

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In case you haven’t realized, my posting has been sporadic over the last few months. The reason? Our family has been on furlough and we’ve been traveling from here to there to everywhere.

However, I’m back in Papua New Guinea now.

Outside the rain is pouring as if some big kids in heaven are standing on the edge of a kiddy pool. There is a musty smell surrounding me.  Walls are plastered in mildew.  A warm cup of National #1 tea sits on my desk.  Half of the roof of my office is missing.  There are green trees all around. 

It’s home. It feels good to be home.

Random Stats and Facts About Furlough

  • Over the last three months, our kids have slept in about 15 different homes or hotels.
  • I just spent my second night in my own bed after 33 nights in hotels. 
  • I’ve officially gained my furlough 15, so it’s time to eat some PNG food and start running again.
  • It’ll be 16 days before I’m traveling again.  I’ll be going to a church gathering in Mount Hagen, PNG.

Furlough and Emotions

Furloughs are always emotional events.

On furlough we met a niece and nephew we had never seen before.  We saw siblings that we hadn’t seen in two years.  I met a few cousins I hadn’t seen in twelve plus years.  There are many hellos, long talks, and warm memories.

But furloughs are also full of sad goodbyes.  Goodbyes to family.  Goodbyes to friends. 

The more bitter the goodbye, the deeper we know our relationships have become.

The saddest thing about being back is the internet.  When we arrived, I tried to do a few quick things on the blog and *tick – tock – tick – tock*.  I forgot how spoiled I was by having true high speed internet in North America.

Clarifying the Future

In April 2012, our family will be permanently relocating back to the US.  I’ve been wrestling with what I’ll ‘do’ when we return.  The three most promising options are:

  1. Develop a financial seminar where I work with individuals and church leaders to help members improve their finances so they can support new ministries.
  2. Back to school.  I’m considering getting either my Doctorate of Ministry or a PhD in New Testament studies.
  3. A ministry position at a church. 

Just this morning I started my discernment journal.  Lord willing, I’ll have a clear sense of call when it is time to act.  Thank you to so many of you who have given me feedback regarding need and giftedness.

Furlough and Transforming Your Financial Diet

I had two opportunities (which I loved) to teach the material from my book Transforming Your Financial Diet while I was on furlough.  I think in both cases we were all challenged to take a very close and serious look at our finances.  I think the material has a lot of potential for doing good in God’s kingdom.

FYI, the book is currently not for sale, but perhaps when I get my act together I’ll get some links available to purchase the book.

I’m glad to be back in PNG.  Going forward, I should be able to post more regularly, so I’m looking forward to our continued dialogue about Christian finances. 

Comments

  1. says

    Nicely written Craig. It was a pleasure reading it… Made me go back to the times when I left my city for a job… Good old days… All the best for your future!

  2. says

    Craig, I’m glad you’re finally home. I know how you feel…when I was in Paraguay, I didn’t really miss my family enough to be upset about it. Sometimes here, though, I miss my Paraguayan family so much that I ache to be back. Don’t tell my mom. ;)

    Just out of curiosity…do you know the Good News Christian Church down there? Some folks from our church up here started that one in the 50s or so, and I’ve been thinking about taking a visit. Gotta clear it with the wife tho. :)

    God’s blessings to you as you spend your last several months serving Him abroad and figuring out what He’s got for you once you get back here!

    -j

  3. GayleRN says

    Welcome home.

    Could you elaborate about the discernment journal? That is a new concept to me and it sounds like it might be quite useful.

    Thanks

    • says

      Gayle,
      I probably made a mistake by making it sound like something official. The discernment journal is what I’m calling it. Basically, since we’ll be in transition I’m in the process of trying to discern what God is calling us to. I’m writing down comments, thoughts, and gut feelings that could be God’s prompting. When it comes to making a decision I’ll read back through the months of notes to see if anything stands out.

  4. Maria says

    Craig:

    I have an additional question about the discernment journal. I know you mentioned it’s not official, but do you follow any certain structure? Do you begin a discernment journal for a major decision or is it ongoing?

    With thanks,
    Maria

    • says

      Maria,
      I’m actually working up a full reply in a post as I’ve had several questions about. Basically, I’m writing information that I think is or may be pertinent to making a decision about my future ‘occupation’. So I’m just doing it for this one major decision. If I was super-spiritual I could see value in doing it for many areas of life.

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