Stress, change, video presentation, travel, tracking miles, being in a different church every week, where are we going to sleep, how will my children deal with travel again and again? These are just a few issues that pop into a missionary’s mind when the word furlough comes up.
One of the best ways to prepare for furlough is to change your mindset. When you change your mind and see yourself as a mission evangelist, it helps you to change your approach. You are promoting missions in churches and challenging them to do more, give more, and go more. By changing your approach it changes your attitude. When you change your attitude it helps the whole family to follow your lead.
Here are four tips to make furlough effective and fun.
- Start your time in your home church and home space for a few weeks to understand how things have changed since you left. It’s a much more friendly environment for you to find rest and re-adjust to American culture.
- Budget to make an updated and modern video report. There are websites where using drone footage of your mission field is possible. Keep it around three to four minutes. Leave them wanting more rather than waiting for it to end. It will be worth it and you will see the spiritual and financial return.
- Communicate through your prayer letter in advance when you are coming. The churches and individual supporters who want you will schedule you and those who can’t afford to have you will keep quiet. Once you are on the ground and people hear you are in the area they will want you to come. I like to keep my family in one place and travel each weekend. Sometimes it costs more gas but it gives you the downtime during the week to plan.
- Communicate through missionary lists, Facebook missionary chat groups, and other missionary networks with fellow laborers for the best places to stay and for great stops in the journey. Do your best to book them well in advance. Places like Eden Ridge Missionary Retreat Center is a great example.