November 28th, 2016. I don’t think I will ever forget that day. Just two days shy of 35 months on the road, and we pulled into the driveway. For the last time. Deputation was done. It was a long haul. Not as long as many missionaries spend on deputation, but it taxed me to the limit.
We started when the twins were but six months old, headed to Alabama to be appointed with Baptist World Mission. Then I was pregnant with Henry while on the road, and we took only a six week break for his birth. I have homeschool Elaine in Kindergarten, First Grade, and part of Second Grade. I started Nolan in Kindergarten. Did not anticipate doing that. I potty trained Liberty at rest areas and in other people’s homes. I tried to potty train Nehemiah, but we are still walking that road. Most of deputation has had us with three in diapers, and me nursing at least one baby.
We learned a lot of lessons. We made cherished friendships. We experienced our country. We ate more cheeseburgers that we care to count. I don’t know if I’m at the point where I would say, “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” Many other missionaries tell me the time will come when I look back at deputation as the good days. I’m not there quite yet, but I can say I am glad God took us on this path. But I’m even more glad that we have reached the end of the road.
- We traveled for 2 years and 9 months
- We passed through or had meetings in 44 states and Canada
- We drove 100,000+ miles
- We had meetings in 140 states
- We are so close to 100%!
Being back has meant new routines. Getting up at the same time everyday. Drinking coffee out of my favorite mug. Exercising as a habit. Eating homemade food. And the kids are re-learning their boundaries. It is wonderful, even though the place we are living is not to my preference and I am dying to be in our own home.
Here are some highlights from our life on the road, especially on the last trip – from Portland, OR to Mountainville, NY.