(MK = Missionary Kid)
We spoke about the Tigak ministry at a church 3 weeks ago, and we moved on and spoke at a different one the following week, but in between the two Sundays, we had thought,"What are we going to do during the week? Just sit around??" Seems like such a waste of time...
But as that trip and this season of sharing about the Tigak ministry developed, here's what we have seen:
-we've seen our children joyfully reunite with precious friends they knew from a few years ago
-we've seen them make new friends
-we've seen them laugh and play and try new things and journal about the special friends and memories
-we've seen them learn and grow in their development of social skills and talents
So we were nothing but WRONG to think that having very little planned in between speaking engagements was a waste of time. On the contrary, it was the most precious of times.
Home Assignment/Furlough is NOT all about us as parents, and it is not even all about us sharing about the Tigak ministry. We know that God's ultimate desire for each of us is that we allow Him to mold us and shape us into the image of Christ, His beloved Son. He does that through the Holy Spirit, through His Word, AND...(drumroll...) through the fellowship of believers! And this sweet fellowship is what the girls have been experiencing on this Home Assignment. Our girls are just as important a ministry to us as the Tigak ministry is. We will never set them aside for the sake of the Tigak. We believe that would be against His will. As another missionary said:
"We don't sacrifice our family;
we sacrifice AS a family. "
So all of our work in Tigak goes alongside the raising of our daughters in God's ways (and in fact, this has the power to speak volumes into the lives of the Tigak as they see how we raise our girls). And so we honor our daughters and how they are sacrificing along with mom and dad so that more Tigak will be reached with the Gospel of grace that they have both accepted.
They are both elementary school age, so at this time in their lives, we honor them by savoring along with them any and all moments that they can enjoy their friends on this side of the world! We honor them by learning to appreciate the things that they value. We honor them by reading with them, both from God's Word to grow and nurture them, and from fun story books to simply enjoy together. We honor them by creating opportunities for them to learn new skills and practice old ones. We honor them by carving out precious times to take them one-on-one on dates, whether it's to walk at the park or to get a hot chocolate! We honor them by letting them linger and talk with their friends so their relationships can deepen. We honor them by our willingness to make time for play dates and driving them to birthday parties. We honor them by assuring them it is ok and right to cry and grieve when they say goodbye to friends and loved ones. And we also honor them by teaching them to also look forward to what lies ahead.
These MK's are amazing humans. Simply amazing. They are to be cherished and honored, and we ask God for His wisdom in raising them and honoring them as He would.
Finally, it wouldn't be right to only honor the MK's.
Behind every MK stands...
so many of her friends, cousins, and loved ones.
These children also need to be honored, as they are making a sacrifice as well. They choose to love on our girls and build a relationship with them. And then they too must say goodbye and part ways. This is no small thing. And so all of these little ones have an incredible opportunity to recognize the sacrifice they are making-- and for what cause?? For the most important cause, the only one worth living and dying for: the Gospel of grace through Jesus Christ! Thank you to all of you, friends of our MK's. You may be young, but even at your young age you are making sacrifices for the Kingdom of God.
*Please note: the photos in this post are only a small representation of the many who are in our girls' lives.