Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Furlough Highlights

Our second furlough from Uganda is over. We arrived safely back in Africa late Tuesday night. We are so happy to be back and excited to get up to Ikland and see our friends, though we know we will face many challenges. 

This furlough really was wonderful, and we want to publicly thank all of you who loved and took care of us in so many ways! Below is a list of some (not all!) of the things and people we enjoyed over the last five months:

-Biking in Mobile, Alabama (and on Dauphin Island) with Terrill’s family
-Weekly lunches in Tallahassee, Florida with Amber’s parents
-Half-price Mondays at Goodwill
-More leisure time to read for pleasure and edification
-Favorite foods: Mexican, BBQ, Lebanese, Mennonite...the list goes on!
-Work hours at the ‘office’ (Panera Bread Co. with free refills and wireless internet)
-Roads trips around the eastern US
-Good sermons at several churches
-Long walks in numerous towns and cities
-Breakfasts at the Amish restaurant Boyd & Wurthmann in Berlin, Ohio
-Lehman’s Amish hardware store
-Prison ministry fund-raising banquet where Amber’s dad gave his testimony
-Having Ik road signs made at an Amish flea market
-Going to a good ol’ high school football game with Amber’s cousins
-Swiss Festival in Sugar Creek, Ohio
-Driving through West Virginia and Virginia while the autumn leaves were changing
-Fossil hunting with friends in Jamestown, Virginia
-Meeting little people: nephews, cousins, etc.
-Watching the presidential debates (at least at first...)
-Controversial conversations on politics, gun control, evolution, hell, to name a few
-Concerts: John Schmidt, Redemption Row, Switchfoot, and Gatorbone Band
-Browsing antique shops with Terrill’s sister in Oxford, Mississippi
-Walking the gorgeous canopied streets of Oxford, MS
-Memphis, Tennessee, Beal Street, and Aunt Polly’s fried chicken and waffles
-Walking along the mighty Mississippi with friends at sunset
-Meeting the parent’s of friends who live with us in Karamoja
-Memphis Zoo with Terrill’s sister
-Driving part of the beautiful Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi
-Giving guest lectures at Covenant College in Lookout Mtn, Georgia
-Walking around downtown Chattanooga with Terrill’s brother’s family
-White-water rafting on the Ocoee River, Tennessee with new friends
-The Apple Festival in Cleveland, TN with Terrill’s brother’s family
-Glorious sunsets when entering Mobile, Alabama to be with Terrill’s family
-Wrestling with the intricacies of Ik grammar
-Eating seafood at Felix’s over Mobile Bay with Terrill’s parents
-Visiting old school haunts: Jefferson Davis and South Alabama
-Exploring Ikland in a flight simulator on Google Earth
-Greek Festival at the Holy Mother of God church in Tallahassee, FL
-Getting involved in a home group at Four Oaks church in Tallahassee
-Bidding for stuff at the Gospel Express Ministries annual Amish goods auction
-Playing corn-hole with both our families
-Reminiscing with friends who have been to Ikland
-House-warming party at Chad & Tiffany Northington’s home on the ‘south side’
-Kayaking on the Wakulla River with Chad Northington
-Spending Thanksgiving at a beach-house with Terrill’s family
-Spending time with all four of our grandmothers (and one grandfather!)
-Reading SEAL of God and starting to work-out after many years
-Weekly breakfasts or coffees with friends
-Riding bike in southeast Tallahassee
-Visiting Atmore, Alabama, and Holmes Co., Ohio: our birthplaces
-Going to the cinema to see movies like Lincoln, The Hobbit, and The Bourne Legacy
-Contra dancing with friends and complete strangers
-Celebrating Christmas with both families
-Attending a Graber reunion (Amber’s dad’s family) in Sarasota
-Playing softball in the rain
-Frisbee golf at Tom Brown park
-Perusing the aisles of Walmart, Target and Home Depot for hours
-Table games with family: Library, Wizard, Hand and Foot, dominoes, etc.
-Strolling through idyllic Winter Park, Florida with friends
-Catching up with friends in Dallas, Texas
-Ali Baba’s and Back Country BBQ in Dallas (need I say more?)
-Working with Amber’s brother on home improvement projects
-Reliving good memories in the old Schrock upholstery shop in Blountstown, FL
-Attending cousins’ basketball game in Blountstown
-Last-week dinners with close friends in Tallahassee
-“An Evening in Africa” at Four Oaks church in Tallahassee

The list could go on, but hopefully you get the idea! Sometimes when we give up the things we love and hold onto, God gives them back for a time. All we can do is be thankful.


The Reeds said...

Wow! I think you guys crammed three years into your time home. We loved seeing you. Now rest up from your exhausting vacation time!

Notinthewild said...

Cornhole and library made an appearance!!