Holy Transitions and Details, Batman! That was far and away the most crazy and intense Holiday Season of my life. But….. we’re HERE! We prayed, our families prayed, and YOU prayed! God heard, and opened every door. God heard, and removed every obstacle.

During the holidays, plane tickets remained the cheapest I have ever seen. People gave sacrificially and tuition, room and board bills melted down from insurmountable to pennies. Visas were granted in time to be home for Christmas, even when random errors meant an initial denial. Our dreams came true. Sam and I arrived at my family’s home with 3 days to spare before Christmas!

In a flurry of wrapping paper with a soundtrack of Michael Bublé, we jet lagged through Christmas and New Years. Now we’ve been in the town of CT’s HQ for over a week, and hour-by-hour we’re discovering what our new normal life is going to be like. Namely, different.

Furlough, is that even an English word? I won’t bore you with definitions, but what it means for me is that I’ll be sticking around the America for a little while. If this was like my previous visits home, I’d already be a couple of weeks away from my return flight. Instead, I’ve barely begun! It’s weird. Super weird. And also feels great!

Here’s some of the questions you’re likely curious about:

Q: How long are you here for?
A: Right now we have plane tickets booked for a return to Asia on July 13th. But that date could change as we get closer and have a better feel for the best “next steps”.

Q: Sam’s a student, right? So…. what are you doing?
A: My furlough has a few components. Including, but not limited to:

– Resting up: Pretty self-explanatory. This means times with family and friends. A vacation. A change of scenery and pace.
– Support raising: Over 4 1/2 years understandably not all of my original supporters have been able to continue supporting me. Add in a wee bit of inflation, and it’s time to make sure I’m financially prepared for sustainable ministry before I return to my overseas role.
– Special Projects: Life in Asia is BUSY. And doesn’t leave much room for “projects.” Furlough is the perfect time to tackle things for CT that I otherwise couldn’t.
– Recruiting: I actually really, really enjoy being involved in helping young adults pray and think through if a season with CT is what God has planned for them. I’ll get to do that some…. now that I’m in the same time-zone!
– Ministry: I felt pretty strongly that remaining involved in ministry with college students was going to be important. So I’ve just set up that I’ll be helping my amazing friends Holli and Ryan with the BASIC group at RIT this semester.

Q: Are you getting married?
A: Since I’ve been asked this over and over again, here’s the juice. This is Sam and my family’s first opportunity to build relationships with each other. We’re all taking our time to enjoy this season for now. These people all mean a lot to me, and I don’t want to rush them.

Q: Is there anything you need?
A: Overall the transition has been amazingly smooth and everything is falling into place really nicely. However, one thing that would be tremendously helpful and empowering for this furlough season would be a car.

Currently, I’m making due with trying to borrow cars, but the more I dig into my goals for this season the more chaotic that is going to become. Do you, or do you have any connections who may, have a car I could borrow for all or some of this time? If you have a car or an idea, would you mind shooting me back an email? Wow, that would be super helpful!

​All things (English, all new foods, culture shock, being back in school, meeting his girlfriend’s family for the first time, moving from a city of 11 million to a teeny village………) considered, I think he’s doing smashingly! Truthfully, though, it is super challenging. God’s got him on an intense learning curve, and its Sam’s hope to get all that he can out of it.

Please keep praying for him. This season is guaranteed to be hard, but we know it’s worth it.

Thank you. I have been astounded by people’s love, encouragement, and generosity. Without God and those who have stood with us, we would NOT BE HERE. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.