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#47 Confessions of a Missionary Wife -Surviving Furlough with Children

Let’s get one thing straight, if you’re a missionary and you have kids, then furlough is anything but a vacation!

On this episode of “Now Is the Time” I talk to one of the best missionary wives every (in my opinion!) Christina tells you what it’s really like to haul five kids half way around the world and then for nearly a year travel all over the country with them all while trying to home school!

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I think we’ve finally recovered from our last furlough so I asked Christina to talk about her experience in the States a little bit. We spent 10 month, from October 2013 until August 2014 in the US visiting our supporting church and doing a lot of traveling.

Christina not only shares her struggles in this episode but she also shares some of her tips and tricks for how to get through furlough with kids. So if you’re a missionary with kids or you support a missionary with kids then don’t miss what Christina says here!

News

The news coming out of Eastern Ukraine is not good. More Russian troops seem to be pouring through the border and the Ukrainian army is loosing ground.

Please pray for the city of Debaltseve and for the many who have not been able to evacuate in the midst of heavy fighting.

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Question: Do you have any tips that make furlough with kids more manageable?

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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children! My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!

  • Tyna Hansen

    I enjoyed listening to this interview with Christina. I had never thought much about all that is involved in bringing your family on furlough.

  • Nancy Suko

    Yes, it was great hearing Christina. Maybe should do an interview some time on what women’s ministries look like in Ukraine.

  • I enjoyed the inside look at travel and home schooling. It definitely does not sound easy. People do need to hear that this is not the same as vacation. Although I am not a full time Missionary, I travel on short trips to teach. It is sometimes difficult to get across to people in my country that this is not the same as a vacation. Time zone changes, language differences, food, and a packed schedule. Thank you for your transparency. Yes, I would enjoy hearing more from Christina.

    • Yes, Nancy I think you have a little taste of what it’s like, now just imagine adding 5 children, homeschooling and being halfway around the world in a different country to your experience.

  • Advice that I’d add? Don’t do it! 😉 (That’s entirely tongue-in-cheek, because I know furloughs are inevitable for many.)

    I’m curious about what school/program you’re enrolled with?

    • Phyllis, I am completely with you on your advice! 🙂 Furlough is such an upheaval, that I makes me shudder just thinking about uprooting our family for 10 months. I try to comfort myself with the thought that our furlough is our ministry to our supporting churches. This does help me cope with travelling and inconvenience.

      “I’m curious about what school/program you’re enrolled with?”

      We enrolled our children in ABeka video accredited program. It is very structured, keeps me accountable to the ABeka home office and is very high-quality curriculum. The only thing that I don’t like about it is KJV-only sentiment. Other than that it’s an excellent program and the cheapest for the quality of education.

  • Oh, now I’m finished listening. Thank you so much for this! I wanted to add that we had a reliable vehicle this last time we visited the states, and, yes, that was incredible. We got it through an organization called Macedonian Call. Amazing.

    Another tip: our children had never been in cars much at all, and we were surprised to find that carsickness was a huge problem. That was torturous until, right at the end of our time there, we discovered medicine that helped. So, carsickness is treatable, and if you’re tortured by it, find a solution! 🙂

    What about housing? We’ve never been able to find a convenient place to stay. I think doing school would be impossible for us, if we were staying with people the whole time, like usual.

    Please have Christina talk about homeschooling and family life more often!

    • Yes, having a reliable vehicle is a must, especially if you have to do extensive travel. We managed to buy our van (asked my in-laws to do it and paid them back) before we got to the US, so we had a car right away. Another good thing was that we bought an older car, so we were able to sell it almost a year later for the same amount we bought it for!

      Carsickness was not fun. One of our girls has ear troubles and she was suffering the most. She once told us that she missed Ukrainian bumpy roads, because american smooth surfaces made her feel sick. 🙂 Benadryl sure helped, and she also learned to fall asleep as soon as we got in the car. What was your solution?

      As for housing we are definitely blessed. My in-laws have a detached garage to which they added a 2 room apartments with a full bathroom and a kitchenette. This was done on our first furlough and this last furlough we were able to fully enjoy it. They built it just so that we and Caleb’s sister and her family (also missionaries in Ukraine) could stay there when we are in the US.

      Thank you, Phyllis, for your response! It would be fun to record more podcasts about homeschooling and family life (I am sure Caleb is already planning them!). May God bless you and your family!