It's almost here, a week away in fact; it's been nearly 5 months now but within a few short days I will be returning to normal and regularly scheduled blogging. Also I'm headed back to Honduras. But the blogging - that cerebral and unending need to document every thought that comes down the pike. That's what I've been really missing these many months. It doesn't seem real in a way, this is the longest I've ever been on a break/furlough and I've almost started getting comfortable and used to the normal PA way of things. I'm ready though - much more ready than I was back in January; oh January, my planned month for departure. I thought then that towards the end of that month I would be catching a flight to my beloved home. It was not to be though - I think God may have had a part in all of that; probably ought to give credit where credit is due. I needed more time, I couldn't see it then (I couldn't see the forest for the trees then) but I needed the time. The time to rest, to continue reconnecting with family and friends and churches; the time to examine myself, my definicies and sins and to allow God to restore me, heal me and teach me. I needed the time to think about things other than Honduras. And so my kindly mission board leaders advised me to spend the next two months living in a ramshackle mansion in the safest and most resplendant (and I say this with as much sarcasm as I can muster) section of the now bankrupt city of Harrisburg. It is here, in Gangland, Pennsylvania, that EMM owns a mansion which it uses to house and train it's short-term missionaries who, after 2-3 months of incessant training in discipleship, cross-cultural encouters and community living, then go out to various regions of the country and world to assist long-term missionaries for anywhere from 3 months to a year. Trainings occur at various times throughout each year but the offical Winter training begins at the end of January and runs until the end of March each year. This year, in a highly unusual confluence of transpirations there was only one team of short-term missionaries, known in Mennonite circles as a YES team (Youth Evangelism Service), and they, as providence would have it, were...and are, headed to La Ceiba, Honduras to assist me in my work in Los Laureles. Thus, the mission board folk, seeing that I needed more time here in the U.S., seeing that this training would begin within a week and because the only trainees would be my work-partners for 3 months in Honduras, highly suggested that I make the move to Soviet Harrisburg and participate in the training and community life til the end of March. I agreed, with some begrudging attitudes mixed in for flavor and began a 2 month journey that is far too nuanced and detalied to recount here. I will end though by saying that God knew exactly what I needed, the time frame and the people that needed to be in my life - my time in Harrisburg has been about that, it has brought me to the point of being truly ready to return to Honduras as a whole person ready to minister in the midst of brokenness.
Stay classy Harrisburg. See you soon Honduras.