As I write this, we possibly have a whole year and a half ahead of us before moving to Asia! This is the average amount of time it takes new, ReachGlobal Long-Term Pre-Deployed Staff to be 100% funded before departure (an understandable requirement).
Well, what’s a gal to do? It’s certainly a long time, but it will surely fly by. Here are five beneficial things I have done in this beginning’s stage of pre-deployment. Might I add, these are 5 things to do BESIDES support raising 🙂
1. Join a Study, or two!
One goal of mine during this time was to take advantage of the community and resources we have here in the states before moving overseas. One Study I joined is a Precepts class, full of wise older women who teach me more than I thought I could know in two hours. During times of big outward change, it can be easy to lose focus on inward transformation. Staying in the Word through opportunities like these has been so beneficial for my heart.
2. Celebrate Milestones With Family and Friends
Time is short, celebrate with your family and friends your milestones as well as theirs! If we can help it, we have been attending every baby shower, wedding, and holiday event imaginable, wanting to celebrate these precious moments and people while we can in-person. It’s always been a blessing to us!
3. Continue Making Friends
I’m not sure if this is a normal feeling amongst missionaries, but when I first found out we were going to be moving long-term overseas, I began to shrink. I thought, no one wants to be friends with someone they know is leaving them, and felt myself putting up a wall. Thankfully, it didn’t get very far. Our loving community has totally proved those lies wrong! Although relationships will take more work once apart, they are still necessary and possible!
4. Transition Your Service Time
It’s understandable that when you are between fields, you’ll have to begin shifting around your commitments. For me, this has looked like serving full fledge in children’s ministry during the summer, but transitioning out come fall due to travels and trainings. For some, it may look like serving more on an “as needed” basis. Either way, it’s important to begin thinking about this and making steps towards this, not only for you also for your place of worship or ministry, which needs time to transition, too!
5. Gear Up for National Culture
Dave and I are visiting our local Thai Market once a week to get a continued taste of what it may be like living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. With that, we are gradually introducing our stomachs to Thai food by cooking Thai dinners twice a week. We’ll frequent that as we move along, but so far that’s been easy for us since we love Thai food 🙂 We also plan to make an educational visit to a local Buddhist Temple, to become more familiar with what religion may look like to most over in Thailand. It’s great preparation and great fun!
If you have experience in pre-deployment, share your tips here, we’d love to learn from you, too!
Trusting in Him, Sarah Lynn