A REFLECTION OF FURLOUGH

6:34 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments


I always start our furlough with mixed emotions. In the rush to leave Africa - have I got everything done? Can we really afford to be away for so long? Where are we going to stay in Australia and how are we going to get around? Do we have sufficient finances to be there? This is balanced with the excitement of knowing we will be catching up with family and friends and meeting lots of great people along the way.

In the past 6 months I have visited a different ACC church every weekend to share what we have been doing for the past 3 years. These churches are in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. I have spent 12 weeks apart from Kim and the kids and have been to  ACC National Conference. I have spoken in schools and taken part in my own graduation from Alphacrucis College. The response has been tremendous and this encourages me to return to Africa with a renewed energy.

We have managed to sort out 3 years of neglected affairs and realised how behind we are with technology. Health checks have been caught up on and I even had the chance to experience shingles and am pleased to say I was completely over it in about a month. We were able to catch up with so many friends, both old and new, and there are many who I didn't get to see, but realise that's true for all of us.

Living out of a suitcase is ok, as I don't need much stuff to feel comfortable, the difficulty is trying to keep in a routine of exercise, prayer and bible study whilst moving around. I did get to discover the fun of mountain bike riding on good bush tracks. I was slaughtered on the squash court by a mate that I was once competitive against. I don't think 11 years away from a game is great preparation.
People have been very generous covering many of our costs and blessing us enormously. If it was not for these people we could not afford to do what we do and it's a very humbling experience.

I have spent a lot of time seeking new ministry partners which gets mixed responses from people, ranging from disdain to respect. I have met new friends and have had many awkward discussions with people who can't seem understand what we do or why we do it.

In short I don't know where the spare time went in the past 6 months but I do know it was fun, exhausting and quick. I have discovered things about myself that I need to work on and have been challenged by God to think bigger.

When you ask me how am I enjoying my holiday I smile and say it's great to be back, whilst thinking to myself, "I would love a holiday." Furlough is nearly over. So long Australia - Africa here I come.