I borrowed this from another missionary’s blog. He posted this and I thought it was very good. Furlough is so many things and this explains just a little bit of it.
What is furlough?
Family & Travel:
* Furlough is being away from your wife and children on weekends and Wednesdays.
* Furlough is being with your wife and four children in a cramped, borrowed car.
* Furlough is realizing how awesome your wife is, accepting such discombobulation for the sake of God’s name even though her most basic instincts are nesting and stability.
* Furlough is having to spend thirty minutes every night catching insects to feed the land turtle your 6-year-old caught on some church lawn.
* Furlough is a speeding ticket for being careless in the 18th hour of a 26-hour non-stop trip from the California coast to keep a commitment in Colorado. Note: this is Culbertson’s point (the police haven’t caught me being careless yet).
* Furlough is 250 beds in one year.
* Furlough is having people take you out to some nice restaurants.
* Furlough is getting a delicious home-cooked meal after a couple of days of nothing but Subway sandwiches and other attempts at healthy fast food.
* Furlough is proof that GPS systems are neither omniscient nor all-wise.
* Furlough is learning that traveling coach on an Amtrak can be a missions opportunity.
* Furlough is having seven requests for services on the same date and wondering how to keep all your friends happy.
* Furlough is having a service or two canceled and foolishly beginning to think nobody wants you.
* Furlough is becoming an actuary, calculating whether it is most time and cost efficient to drive or fly.
* Furlough is trying to see every supporter but knowing that it is impossible, praying that those we can’t see understand.
* Furlough is the chance to preach the Word of God and to share a passion for missions in many awesome churches that we have grown to love.
* Furlough is watching your video 100 times and getting choked up every time.
* Furlough is seeing something new on your video the 87th time.
* Furlough is learning how to work around a myriad audio-visual equipment quirks.
* Furlough is telling the same story on 40 consecutive Sunday mornings and being blessed every time.
* Furlough is answering the same questions night after night, but getting excited because people are really interested in missions and your work.
* Furlough is teaching missions classes to university students and wondering how those young whipper-snappers know so much.
* Furlough is hoping that the young whipper-snappers learn by doing with as much passion as they learn by listening.
* Furlough is meeting people who say they’ve been praying for you by name every day for years, and getting a lump in your throat.
* Furlough is learning how large and how big-hearted your spiritual family really is.
* Furlough is being with old friends, sharing your prayer burdens, even unloading some frustration, hurts, and disappointments.
* Furlough is finding out where your friends are on their spiritual pilgrimage, sharing their prayer burdens, letting them unload some of their frustrations, hurts and disappointments.
* Furlough is an opportunity for your wife and children to get involved in a strong local church in your native country for several months.
* Furlough is making over 1,000 “Facebook” friends.
* Furlough is spending a few minutes with someone and thinking you could become terrific “real” friends, but knowing it will never happen.
* Furlough is the above happening hundreds of times over.
* Furlough is seeing your kids learning how to develop inch-deep, mile-wide relationships, and praying that their marriages will be deep someday.