These are just some practical things I've learned through the years. It sounds funny, to me, to say years, but we have been missionaries over 10 years!! We spent a little over 5 years on deputation, I know, that's a long time on deputation, I guess we had more to learn than others. :) We spent right at 3 years on the field in Greenland. We took an extended furlough for 2 years. Now we are approaching a month of being here in Hungary!! Now that I've given you a quick summery of the last 10 years of my life, here are few things I've learned along the way. :)
*Take time for family! This is such an important thing to keep in mind. We try to have a family night on Friday. We usually will watch a movie or play a game together. Or you could stop on the way home from church, in the rain, to look at snails. :) Yes, that's what we did Sunday afternoon. And, yes, we enjoyed it!
*Let your kids miss "home". This might sound odd, but hear me out. We live several thousand miles away from all that is "normal" for us. It takes time to adjust. Most of the time adults adjust quicker than kids do, sometimes it's the other way around. When we first moved to Greenland our kids were young, ages ranging from 3-6. So adjusting for them wasn't too hard. But since they are older, 8-11, they miss the normalcy of America, they miss their friends, family, and our home church. I have held them a few times over the last month and just let them cry over the people and things they miss. We try not to dwell on what we have left behind, and we try to remind our kids that Hungary is our home. My guys do love it here and this last month has been eventful and great.
*Smile!! Why do I say, smile? Because a smile is universal. We don't speak the language, YET! But, a smile is something that is shared worldwide. You don't have to speak the language to be friendly. We are slowly learning Hungarian, but as we are out and about, we try to use the little bit of the language we know and smile as we do so! :)
*Learn as much about the culture you can! Different country=different culture. The more you learn about the culture of the people you are trying to reach, the easier it is to understand why they do certain things. I know I have said it before but, we are here to reach the people for Christ, not turn them into Americans! Each people group have different cultures, that's what make them unique.
*Take time with your spouse! Even if it's drinking coffee at the kitchen table and just talking, take that time! There are plenty of things in this world vying for their attention, don't let the world take it.
I know these are basic things, but that's what was on my mind, so you guys get to read it! :)