We are in Colorado this week for debrief at Mission Training International (MTI). Someone here defined debrief as sharing our stories and inquiring about how they have affected us.
We are gatherer here with families who have served all over the world doing all sorts of incredibly difficult things. Most seem to be transitioning off the field though some are in the US on a temporary home assignment before deploying again.
In these first couple of days, we have already found it incredibly encouraging and helpful to be with other families who have had such similar challenges and done such similarly crazy things, though in different contexts.
On a hike
In the same vein, it has been a wonderful gift for my children to get to interact with other children who have lived overseas. They have a wonderful children’s program that facilitates their sharing. One exercise they do is to hold a “pair a ducks” (paradox): a “yuck duck” (hard thing) and a “yea duck” (happy memory) that are related. An example i might share in this exercise would be “seeing God move at the lakeside pastor conferences” (yea duck!) and “missing my family for a week and spending 2 full days on bumpy roads to get there and back” (yuck duck!). These sorts of activities (and their adult equivalents) teach us all to hold things in paradox. There was good and bad, happy and sad, all mixed together. Sometimes people hope to hear from overseas workers a one dimensional answer to the question “did you love it!?!” Reality is always mixed.
Please pray that God uses this time to bring us healing, wisdom, insight, unity, and clarity to our whole family as we reflect on our service in Ghana these last couple of years.