A few days before we flew back to Malaysia after 10 weeks in the U.S.A., I came across some Malaysian money. Just the touch of it transported me in all my senses to the island of Borneo, the city of Kota Kinabalu, our apartment and markets and views of sea and mountain. As amazing as America is (berries! friends! smooth roads! cool weather!), we were all ready to come home. Nearly three months without routine, having to pack up and move every three days, is a lot. We were given wonderful, wonderful hospitality along the way, which made the trip much easier, and we got to enjoy so much storytelling – both sharing our stories and getting to hear stories of our friends and supporters in the Red White and Blue. Maybe it is a bit of grace that we were ready to come home, even though we are never ready to say “good-bye” or even “see you later” to our USA crew.
During our last month in America, we got some messages from the seminary here in Malaysia, saying that a section of the seminary’s internet cable had been stolen (apparently, again.) We expected to come back to zero internet, but miraculously, coming back we have (I think) had better connection than ever! My desktop computer won’t turn on at all, but I can use Eric’s laptop to keep in touch. Having internet is like salve on a wound – it calms and helps us do important things. Like blogging! And keeping in touch with not only internet banking and work emails, but also some really wonderful people around the world.
In closing out home assignment, and as one last reminder of the generosity of our American friends, we managed to lose both boys’ Kindles in the Seoul, Korea airport. Kindles are our alarm clocks, our music libraries, our down time, our learning games center – in other words, they’re really important! We mentally retraced our steps, and yes, we remembered where they had gotten left. Airport lost and found (thank you, Skype calls!) had them, but could not mail them; we needed someone to come pick them up in person. I broadcasted a Facebook plea – anyone know anybody in Seoul?
We received so many offers of connection and help within an hour – what a gift! It was actually hard to choose just one person! Needless to say, the Kindles are now in the mail – a friend of a friend (who is now OUR friend!) fetched them and went through the bureaucracy of mailing them (had to mail them separately, to two different addresses, because of their batteries and making sure we weren’t running an import business). It was just one more reminder of the web of relationships – wherever we are, if we are in need, people offer kindness. If there is one message to carry from Home assignment, that would be it: that we are connected, and loved, and blessed to be able to hopefully continue to return the favor in the days and years ahead.
(P.S.: Happy 16th Anniversary to Eric and I! Here’s to the adventures that lie ahead!)