What I did on my summer vacation.
What I began to realize (as part of the missionary lifestyle) was that if I did not step back periodically, such as in taking a summer vacation, I could burn out. The result would be bad for me and for the ministry. It is true for many missionaries.
Fortunately, I am married to Julie, a wonderful young lady, who does not forget to remind me that we need to plan a summer vacation. And, boy, did she ever plan an eventful summer vacation! I sometimes wonder if we worked too hard at it....
So, what have we been doing?
1) We have been letting go.
a) We have been getting Lydia launched on the next phase of her life, life at college. That is a big "letting go." For the first time in about 28 years, we will not have one of our daughters regularly living with us.
b) Getting rid of things around the home that we do not need. Simplification of lifestyle, and hopefully getting rid of a few pounds around the waist, as well.
c) Catching up with family and friends. I have never seen so many appointments. Because of our travels over the past few years, we have not been able to see too much of our family and our friends, personally. We have made up for lost time.
In addition, during July, there was least one death on my dad´s side of the family. One of our god-daughters announced that she is expecting, and there has been a wedding on Julie´s side of our family.
2) We have been preparing for what is ahead. We will be attending a program for long-term missionaries, during the month of September. This program will put us in good stead for our meeting with our missionary society in October.
The one constant in our preparations is that Jesus is Lord, and he has at least one great missionary plan for us. That is so exciting. I am energized by it.
3) Providing food for the soul. I am in the midst of putting together a user-friendly Morning Prayer book in Spanish, for my personal daily devotions.
I have also been reading about how to implement healthy team relationships on the mission field. This is so important for ministry effectiveness.
Letting go. Preparing. Providing. That is what we have been doing on our summer vacation.
God bless you, and thank you for your continuing support! I pray for you, every day.
Shaw+, and on behalf of Julie+ (and Lydia)