The number one question we've got in the last week is "Are you excited to go back to PNG?"
The answer is yes!

I gather from people asking us this, that it is important that we show our excitement.  Only I feel awkward showing that excitement because it feels as if we're not paying enough respect to those whom we are leaving.

If you're sitting next to your mom, and someone says 'are you excited to get back?'  If you stand up and shout 'Goodness YES!'  is your mom hearing: 'Are you excited to leave your family and not see them again for 2 years?'  'Goodness yes, I can't stand one more minute with these people!?"  They probably aren't thinking that at all.
I'm probably over thinking it, but it seems insensitive to be overly exuberant about returning home to PNG when in the presence of those whom you are leaving.

At the same time, it seems important for people to know, because they continue to ask.  And I understand that.  They want to know 'are you going back with energy? Or are you going back burned out?'

So, if those whom we are leaving will afford me the grace to give full voice to our excitement, I will do so now.  Please do not be offended by this.  And know our departure is also filled with sadness at goodbying you…. but for this one brief blog (Velma did he say brief? Is that boy completely Loco?) , I'm going to take the blinders off, and just run with it.

-YES!!  WearesosuperpumpedtogetbacktoPNGwecanbarelyhideit!

We were meant to be here this year and it was good, but we miss our work, we miss our purpose, we miss friends, we miss our home, we miss using our talents, we miss the life we've gotten use to, we miss the school.
Every hardship this year, was harder because we didn't have the support of being at our 'home base'  Our normal.  We were in a boat this year, not on a firm foundation.  We were rocked harder by the rocks.  When we arrive back in PNG, it will be as if the final healing can begin.  
Our souls long to be serving God.  We served Him in the ways we could while in the U.S., but knowing it was temporary, there was only so much we could do.

We have been called to do this work, and taking a year off is hard.  It's like that constant feeling that… THERE IS SOMETHING YOU NEED TO BE DOING…. and yet can't.

So yes we're excited.  

But that's only the half of it.

Furlough is also about re-energizing.  The first half of this furlough was exhausting, draining, emotionally depleting.  We prayed 'God we can't return to PNG this way, we need our passion back, our energy back.'  And God has been building us back up during the second half.

We are returning with so many ideas, and energy and love, and willingness to take on new challenges.
We are returning with the emotional exuberance similar to that of our first time arriving.  Filled with wonder and 'what's going to happen this term!?'

So we're excited on that level as well.

And then for me, of course, there is a third aspect to excitement.
And that is the part of 'excited' that actually implies action.  When molecules are excited they are moving about.

Are we moving about?  Yes.  Though the last few days have been visitations and goodbyes, we will be moving about quite literally as we get on the planes and fly off.
But then also as we land, and begin scurrying all over the place doing the millions of little things we have been waiting to do.

Are we excited?
Yes.  Like a child on Christmas Eve.  Like a teenager on their first upside down roller-coaster.   Like someone bathing in an ice cold waterfall.  Like missionaries with a caling about to land at their destination.

Pray for traveling safety, and pray for the people of PNG that they come into a saving relationship with Christ.