Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sunday Funday Tuesday

If you can't do it Sunday, do it whenever:). The videos from last week were leaving vlogs:

At the airport, once we got on our flight to Brazil, there were many children running around speaking Portuguese. My first thought was, "Oh! We aren't special anymore." I am not sure why I thought this, but it actually made me sad. Caid and I both value being bilingual. Caid values it more academically, and I value the fact that I can say, "Come here or I will spank you" to my daughter in a language that most people around me don't understand.
In leaving, there are many losses. Losses that you don't even realize until you are half-way through them. That is why grieving is always a close element to leaving. Luckily, this particular thing was remedied quickly as my next thought was, "Oh! I just have to switch to our other 'special'." Now I can threaten Ana in English all I want. In many places, speaking two languages is normal. We just happen to live and move around in two cultures where it isn't as common. It is a little 'special' that I appreciate and hold on to. I just have to remember when to switch.
Last week was a whirl: arriving, unpacking, rearranging the apartment, buying beds and a car...Saturday was Sao Joao (St. John), a Catholic holiday celebrating St.John. It is typically celebrated by dressing up in plaid and straw hats (sort of like hillbilly style), eating all things corn, and having a bonfire (the smoke can be overwhelming). It was happily pretty smoke free as it was rainy all day. We three snuggled into our clean apartment, watched movies, and ate lots of mangoes: it was pretty epic.
The first group (running English camp this week) arrived safe and sound--all 23 of them, and even more incredible is that all their luggage arrived as well! Caid and I are enjoying being a part of some of the many programs they are providing. We are revving up for Shelbyville group coming in this Sunday!
Reads from the Interwebs:
1. How I learned my belovedness
2. Come to the Margins Just beautiful!
3. We need to learn from Christians in other countries: oh tattoos
4. Why I can't care about every crisis: I am still working on this. Because sometimes I feel so torn in so many directions at once...but I don't want to just switch 'off.' What solutions/balance have you found?
5. Are you guilty of this cross-cultural blindspot? An important read...I feel like I am just starting to understand this...maybe?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sunday Funday Brazil

Quite a week! Here is the video from last week, sharing about the Justice Conference (which I still have not mentally and emotionally finished unpacking):
We set out on our journey to Brazil on Wednesday, but three planes later (and still in Indiana) and 8 hours later we returned to my parent's home. We set out again on Friday, with much better results, and even a stop at Miami beach:
Tired but happy, we arrived on Saturday, rested Sunday, and did basic unpacking/shopping. Each time back, we work on one big purchase for our home, and this time it was a bed (pictures to come!). Thank you so much for all your prayers and encouragements!

Reads from the Interwebs:

Since we were gone for longer than 3 months, I had to get a new phone number in Brazil. Here is my new number for whatsapp, or if you want to call me in Brazil: +55 (81) 99608-6912. Thanks!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sunday Funday June (LAST ONE IN THE USA)

We are heading out in a couple of days! So the suitcases and packing and organizing are underway. Here is the video from last week:
Caid loved being a part of Spring Hill day camp at Horizon Central last week, and last weekend we headed up to Chicago and I was able to attend the Justice Conference 2017 (while Caid and Ana had daddy/daughter time). It was such a blessing, and a vlog is coming soon (and many blog ideas once I get them sorted through in my head).

Reads from the Interwebs:
1. Short Term Missions Trips don't prepare you for Long-Term Missions (and aren't supposed to. They are completely different things).
2. Resilient people are...as we work on transitions, resilience is a must! Love these Biblical examples.
3. Biggest Corruption scheme ever. So this is an interesting (a bit long) article on some of South America's epidemic corruption. This is a good read for people trying to understand (like me) how exactly this is such an embedded part of the culture.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

June Sunday Funday

We are under the two week mark, returning to Brazil on June 14th. Our two videos this week were for memories:

Today, our home church, Horizon Central, prayed for us, and Caid preached from his heart. You can hear his message here. We are so proud of him:). 

Reads from the Interwebs: 
1. Debriefing (Now that we are returning): shameless plug--I wrote this.
2. Another kind of cost: interesting to imagine the future... 
3. Beating back cultural stress with exploration: such a helpful tip!
4. Tips for keeping kids engaged during phone calls: I need these a bit--will need it more in a couple of years!

Thank you for your prayers as we enter this time of packing and goodbyes! 

Debriefing (now that we are returning)

A couple of days after we arrived “home” after time on the mission field, someone asked me about debriefing. My mouth fell open and my mind thought “Debriefing? I am just trying to find clean underwear!” I ended up saying something about how things were going well, but I wasn’t ready for debriefing yet—so many initial things hitting me first. Here are some of my thoughts about debriefing, now that we are preparing to return to the mission field from our home assignment (things take me a while):
1. There are many different levels of debriefing needed. Many of the deeper levels depend on the length of time gone and level of trauma experienced.
2.  Debriefing levels include:
a.       Asking how I am doing with re-entry
b.      Asking how things are going in general
c.       Asking how my relationship with God is
d.      Asking if there are any immediate needs you can meet
e.      Having us over for a meal
f.        Sharing a book, articles, Bible verses: something that helped you with transitions
g.       Setting up a meeting/”counseling session” to talk specifically about debriefing (cost: free-$200)
h.      Setting up an overnight away (cost: $100-$250)
i.         Setting up an official debriefing conference (cost: about $1000 a person or more)
3. Personally, I have received everything except the last level. Since we have had shorter mission terms (less than a year), and have not had traumatic experiences to work through, it has been easier to transition back each time. But I do recommend levels a-h for each person each time they return home.
4. Debriefing includes a time of grieving (for change, for loss…). Grieving to me is defined “when you and others give yourself time to focus on yourself and how you feel and how to heal.” Personally, I needed someone to watch my daughter and let me be alone at a coffee shop to grieve. Then I (was ready and) needed time for a date with my husband, for us to grieve together. Then I (was ready and) needed time for us as a family to grieve/talk/heal together.

 5. Hopefully, your missionary is generally at a healthy place and will naturally progress through debriefing. Give them a couple of weeks to unpack and personally prepare to debrief. Check in on them (with the first couple of level questions), especially about immediate needs (we always end up needing clothes ASAP as we change seasons abruptly). After they have been home around a month, you can move on to level e-f to talk more and discuss together what deeper levels of debriefing are needed (g-i). NOTE: If you realize that the missionary is not in a healthy place, you may need to intervene more directly! Sometimes people are not able to see/ask for help.