Well…we’re guessing you have a few questions! The main ones being, ‘how is the adjustment going for you guys’ and ‘what are you going to do next?’ We could answer those quickly but it will be better to share some of the factors that have shaped our last few months so you have a better idea of how it’s going.
We spent the last week of January through the end of Feb. in Alberta near and with Mark’s parents, sister, and many good friends. Being a Calgary boy, he’s got some good roots down there so there was plenty to do! Sarah worked on getting closer to getting her certificate as a reflexologist and she is very close now! That’s exciting. While she studied Mark spent many happy hours teaching the kids to skate, taking them sledding, and even some swimming. Such a great dad, eh? It was a very good season for us in that way. Cindy and Jason, thank you for the extra space you gave us to really have a get-away and help transition back. Mom and Dad W, thank you for all the logistical support in those weeks! So valuable! We realized in that time that we needed to do quite a bit of grieving Uganda and we were also able to identify that in fact both of us, but particularly Mark, were burned out quite badly. That rest and refocus was crucial!
When we left Alberta we headed to Denver for a de-brief course given by an organization called Mission Training International (MTI). It was excellent!!!! Hard to explain in a short space but really, it is put on by former missionaries, MKs, and TCKs. The programs for the kids to help them process their experiences and evaluate how they’re doing were fantastic! Our kids loved it! The child care for Meggie was superior! And the classes for Mark and I were awesome as well. We give it a 10! God really blessed us with that time and we recommend it to anyone who has done long or short term missions. We definitely had to face some hard things while there and it was exhausting in that way. One of the painful parts was facing the fact that some of the friendships that we left in Uganda will be empty places in our hearts forever. It is surprisingly like grieving a death. We really hope and pray we can go and visit those friends again one day (as soon as possible!) but we know that we have to let them go for now. It was good to walk through that.
Also, during our time in Denver a huge blessing was to be able to see Sarah’s brother whom we haven’t seen since going to Uganda and even before that!!! It was so good to see him and to meet his family! We had lots of laughs, not so much sleep, and made good memories. It was a special time!
So, now we are back in Abbotsford. It looks like spring out here! Daffodils, crocuses, tulips, people cutting their grass!!! Still rainy and cold some days but very nice. Seth and Jodie actually planted tomato plants and we’re watching them pop out of the cups so we can plant them outside in a month. It’s good to be here. So good to see our dear friends from our cell group and our church. Good to be at Uncle John’s house! One big bummer. The van that our good friends gave us was involved in a three car pile-up while parked outside of our house while we were gone in Alberta. It turns out drunk drivers can cause three car pile ups all by themselves in the middle of the night! Anyway… the van was totalled so Day 1 when we got back Mark was hoofing it down to the insurance company to insure the old red Jetta and taking it to the shop for very spendy maintenance and repairs. Gulp. But good enough, Meggie’s car seat squeezes very snugly between Seth and Jodie’s boosters and if we’re all in a good mood we can have a pleasant trip in the car!
Future? The big question that’s still looming! But there are job applications in and because of the nature of Mark’s work April should be a telling month. Though he would not start anywhere full time till September he would be hired in April. So please keep praying about that! We will send out a letter when we know more about that of course!
That’s all for now! If something very interesting happens soon we will be letting you know. Otherwise we’ll write again next month! We pray you are all doing well and anticipating a blessed Easter!
We love you!Mark, Sarah, Seth, Jodie and Megan