Summer Sabbatical - 2022
This past Summer we were granted a sabbatical/furlough by our Church. We took 4 months in the states to rest, visit family and travel America. In many ways, this offered our family a chance to reconnect with parents, grandparents and cousins in a way we haven't been able to ever before, as well as allow our kids to see America and many historical places they've never experienced. Lastly, it allowed us all to rekindle and reconnect with friends who had passed through Korea in our time here and moved away. Our gratitude for this special trip can not be expressed enough, it will be a core memory for us and our children!
May - Time for Us
We boarded a plane in May and headed home for our first extended time in the States since we moved to Korea in 2010. This was a much needed break for our family, having lived overseas and served a constantly changing group of people for 13 years.
We began our Sabbatical with a trip to Hawaii for some reconnecting with our State convention, seeing friends, resting and family time. We spent 1 week in Oahu, visiting friends and the convention and spending time on the beach. Then we took a hop to the Big Island for a quiet week at a condo for Pastoral refreshment, that included beaches, coffee and lava. We are really grateful for this opportunity. During this time we created our family timeline and processed together through the book "The Grief Tower" (which we highly recommend to any expat or military family!). We had such a fun time that none of us wanted to leave, but we also wanted to get to Minnesota and see family.
We landed in Minnesota just in time to spend 10 days with family before we climbed in our car for the first of many sabbatical/furlough road trips.
June - Missionary Care and Rest
Thanks to some generous members of our church, we were able to attend a missionary care camp for our family in the month of June. The camp is geared toward resilience and processing for overseas missionaries and pastors. We got a chance think and process our years overseas, our many goodbyes and "losses" we have experienced. We were trained to understand and work through disruptions in life and ministry. Most importantly we got to spend time as a family; uninterrupted time, unbroken and undistracted time together. We are very thankful for this time, and while we know we have a long way to go to work through the disruptions expat life provides, we feel we have a better understanding how God is maturing us through it all and are better equipped both personally and to minister to others. Our kids have fond memories of their time with other TCKs and the beauty of rural Michigan.
We also had a time each day to talk with a missionary counselor. He heard our story and allowed us time to think through our timeline and all of the interesting experiences we have had. He helped us realize how unique our story is and that we have a need to begin involving others in supportive ways to our story. If you are curious how you can support us, or ways that you can partner with us please ask... email Steve (email@example.com). We would love to involve you further!
Our camp was in Michigan, which allowed us time to go and see two dear pastor friends and their families. Our kids loved to hangout with our friend's kids and each time walked away saying "wow. that was fun." To which we naturally responded, "Stick with us kids, we have some cool friends." Truly God has provided friendships that have held us up and pushed us forward in our call to follow and serve our God.
We are considerably thankful for all of you who have loved us and challenged us to love Christ more. Thank you!
We finished June with a our very first cousins camp! Sarah's family met us in Michigan and we spent a week together at a wonderful cabin, surrounded by woods. Our kids ran and explored all day, everyday with Oma and Opa and their cousins. We could not have asked for a more perfect way to kick off our time with family.
From Michigan, we made a trip to South Dakota to visit Sarah's aunt and grandma. Then we visited the Badlands national park and Windy Cave national park with dear friends from (formerly from Korea) before making our way back to MN to stay for the entire month of July.
July - Time with Family
July was all about spending quality and quantity time with family. We hunkered down at Steve's brothers house because they have a large enough space to accommodate our large family alongside their large family without adding to, or raising the level of crazy beyond anyone's capacity. The Houser cousins are incredibly dear to our family and this time was precious.
We are so grateful for the love, accommodations and care we received from all of our family in July....We made time to read, swim and create fun things. It was refreshing to see so much family, we soaked it up!
August - Travel to Visit Friends
For the month of August we planned a big road trip, with a goal to see friends and do some sightseeing along the way. In the end, we saw 18 States, multiple national and state parks, several historical sites and many, many friends! Our only regret is....we couldn't fit everyone in and we couldn't stay long enough at any one place! Turns out, 4 months just isn't as long as you expect it to be.....If we didn't see you this trip, feel free to visit us in Korea ANY TIME or we hope to connect in the future.
Back to Korea....MSP to ICN!
As September rolled too quickly around, we said tearful goodbyes and flew back to the ROK! We returned excited to see our Church family, meet new people who had arrived in our absence and come "home" after so many travels. We were so warmly and lovingly welcomed back by our Church family - we can not express the love and warmth we felt - from signs, groceries, meals, gifts, a cleaned apartment, a welcome back lunch at Church to so many messages and hugs - we felt truly missed, loved and supported. THANK YOU!
Same mission, same ministry, renewed and refreshed energy!
In so many ways, we have settled back into what feels "normal." Korea has become home. SCBC and our Church family and friends haven't changed. C19 restrictions have improved and life has resumed back to the Korea we love and know. Check out a few of our additional posts to see a glimpse of what ministry or life here looks like!
And yet we return with fresh eyes, to continue the work and mission here until we feel the Lord call us elsewhere. Psalm 37:3-4 says "Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the Land and befriend faithfulness, Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act."
If you are reading this and helped pray for us, support us, send us, host us, feed us, welcome us to the States or back to Korea, please hear our DEEP gratitude and thanks - we can not say it enough!