Heading Back to America!
Hello from Chiang Mai! The big news for our family is that we have been approved to head back to America for a home assignment! Our first term here in Thailand is coming to end and we will be back in the US for about six months beginning this summer. Even though we were back for a few months last year, this will be our first official home assignment. So, we are very much looking forward to the experience and reconnecting with our friends and church families. Since this is a first for us, you may not know what a “home assignment” entails so we decided to format this email by answering some common questions:
What exactly is “US Home Assignment”?
For our first term of service, IM has a cycle of 4 years in the host country (Thailand for us) and then up to 1 year back in the sending country (America). But coming back to America is not a vacation, we have a lot to do. One of the things that drew us to IM in the first place was how intentional IM is in working towards the mental, emotional, physical, and social wellbeing of their global servants. We see this reflected in the US home assignment structure. It is a time for us to have some organizational “check ins”, counseling/evaluations, and most importantly – to reconnect with churches, friends, and family.
What will your family be doing?
- Our top priority is to get together with our partner churches and individuals to catch up, give updates, and share about how we have been seeing God at work in Thailand and in us.
- We have a busy schedule and we are just getting started on the planning. We will be attending two conferences, some regional gatherings, and even a couple of weddings! Plus, we have some road trips planned to visit churches and friends a little further away from our CA Bay Area “home base”.
- As mentioned above, we will also be taking several psychological evaluations and meeting with a counselor to check-in and see how we are doing. Yes, our roles can be stressful but we are thankful IM takes steps to monitor our wellbeing and give us the tools to increase our personal resiliency.
Will you schedule church visits?
Spending time with our partners and sharing about how we have seen God move in Thailand is a major part of why we are returning for a few months. Unfortunately, we will not be able to see everyone, but we will be on the same time zone and can communicate better and send videos.
- If you are already a partner church in California and would like to schedule a visit, please let us know (email@example.com)!
- We know we have a lot of amazing churches partnering with us in the midwest and east coast but we are currently planning to stay primarily on the west coast this trip. However, we are always able to make a short video for our partner churches or churches interested in partnering with us.
Will you be returning to Thailand?
God willing, we plan to come back to Thailand in early January and pick up where we left off. Honestly, part of us is a little conflicted about our time away, we feel like there was a lot of momentum building and we look forward to returning and continuing building upon that. We are making lots of connections, both personal and professional.
Will you still need financial support?
Yes, we still depend on your financial support while in the US. It is actually more expensive for us to live in the US than in Thailand. Plus, we will continue to need your support while we go back to Thailand.
What is happening in Thailand while you are gone?
- We are so thankful for the amazing staff at the House of Love and the House of Blessing. While it will be hard, we will not be completely cut off from them, thanks to technology!
- We will still be involved with the House of Love and House of Blessing. Obviously, it will look a lot different and communication will be MUCH harder, however, we are in the midst of several projects and will do our best to keep up remotely and keep building on the relationships we have started.
- This is where we are thankful God called us at a time where we can communicate and have meetings online. Plus, we have been working hard to have an online reporting and assessment process so we can keep track of how well the kids and families are improving and what needs work.
- We will still be responsible for all the reporting and communication we do for the House of Love and the House of Blessing.
What are you looking forward to in America?
- What do we miss besides people? Greek food, Red Vines, not having to check my mirrors for motorcycles constantly. Berries, plums, peaches, nectarines. The ability to have a work meeting and not rely on someone else to help translate in order to understand everything. Cooler weather!
Not you, the kids, what are the kids looking forward to in America?
- Libraries, public parks, Chick Fil-A, Sharks hockey, El Pollo Loco (Gavin), good cheese (Sydney), baseball (Kolin), and talking with people who speak their heart language…oh, and did I mention libraries!
-Alise & Mark Juanes