Furlough/Support Raising Trip Checklist

We were “home” on furlough last summer, and let’s just say that it was a major learning experience for our family. Despite what I thought was good planning on our part (we started months in advance), we founds ourselves absolutely exhausted by the end of the summer and having to ditch plans right and left for lack of time or energy. Our major failing was a lack of concrete scheduling on the front end. We were bombarded with more good opportunities than our schedules could possibly handle, and they all seemed to snowball out of control at the end when we and everyone else realized that it was about time for us to head back. Since that experience, I have vowed to myself to be a much better planner for all future trips back “home.”

I have compiled a checklist of things to plan for when heading back for furlough/support raising/home assignment based on some of the things that we were happy we planned well for and other things where we failed miserably. I hope this list might help some of you prepare well in advance for a successful next trip back “home!” And remember, it is much better to plan as many of these things ahead of time as possible! (Which is why I am posting this in March in preparation for summer, a prime furlough time for many). The goal is to get back and know what you are doing and when, so you don’t miss out on accomplishing your priorities and don’t end up stressed out and burned out at the end of your furlough. Here is the checklist, but you can also download it in the blue “Downloads” box on the lower right hand side of the page (scroll down a ways and it is under the map of visitor locations). I saved it as a Word doc so you can edit as would best suit you.

Do you have any other suggestions for planning well for furlough?


Where will we live?

Do we have all of the furniture that we need?

Do we have dishes and  linens?

Do we need any baby/kid-gear, such as a pack n’ play or highchair or baby gate?

What car will we drive?

Do we need to borrow car seats?

Where will we purchase car insurance? (It is simple to purchase insurance online or over the phone.)

Phone number/website: __________

Which churches will we visit and when (arranging your visits before you even leave the field will help you schedule your time well!)?

Total monthly support needed:


Total one-time support needed:


Our first support appointments (Again, it is often much easier to set some appointments up before you leave rather than to try to do it when you are adjusting to life in the US. I know you don’t believe me, but you will when you hit the ground exhausted and are trying to settle your culture-shocked family into your new life!).

Names and Date/time:

Dates of parties or gatherings with current supporters (times to say thank you and share ministry updates):

Date, time, location:

Send out Evites for supporter parties, and/or include a notification in your newsletter if possible:

Check when invitation is sent:

__ Gathering #1 (Date:_______, Time_______, Location _______)

__ Gathering #2 (Date:_______, Time_______, Location _______)

__ Gathering #3 (Date:_______, Time_______, Location _______)

Family Vacations and Times of Rest (get them on the calendar and guard them with your life!!!)

Dates and perhaps your tentative plan:

Personal Goals:

Friends to see (list names and even dates if you decide to make plans in advance):

Places to visit:

Items to buy and bring back to the field:

Medical/dental appointments to be had:

Documents to renew (aka. driver’s licenses, passports, visas, debit/credit cards, international driver’s permits, wills and other financial documents, etc.)

Starbucks consumption goal: (kidding… or am I?!)


Kids’ plans: (this will differ a ton for each family, so I will just leave blank space for this category. Think through things like schooling if necessary, sports or other activities and lessons, camps to attend, or any other opportunity that you are hoping that your children will have while “home.”)

Holidays while we are in town:

What holiday, where and with whom?

(Post by: Ashley)


8 Responses to “Furlough/Support Raising Trip Checklist”

  1. 1 Carrie March 11, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Or, just wing it 😉

    Good list!

  2. 3 Gina March 11, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    I have to say I’ve never heard of someone coming back from a long furlough and saying, “that was such a refreshing time!” Why is that? I don’t know, but it’s one of the reasons we DON’T do long furloughs. We’ve found they are too disruptive to our lives here and don’t seem to accomplish renewal. Instead, we take 2-3 month furloughs every other year. This works for us because we have healthy support, and our hometowns are close to each other so we don’t have to travel much. We also try to do a lot more maintenance of our support from here – calling people, emailing regularly. But I do have a few things I’ve learned from our times home:

    1. Make shopping lists before you go home of what you think you’ll need, and try to save your big trips til the end. Otherwise you could spend your entire furlough shopping. I know, I’ve done it.

    2. Bigger gatherings of supporters is a great idea – even better, group them into people who know each other, suggest some dates, and have one of THEM organize the time. Then they do all the calling and arranging, and you just show up!

    3. Even if you have places to visit that aren’t far from each other, minimize the number of times you travel back and forth. My husband’s family is less than 2 hours from mine, so we thought it was fine one summer to switch off a lot, but we found with packing and driving we were losing a day every time. The next time we just camped out as long as we could in one place.

    4. Don’t expect much the first week or the last week.

  3. 4 Rachel March 12, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    This is great! Thank you so much!

  4. 5 Summur Braley March 13, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Wow, thanks for this list. We are still raising support and have not left yet. So it is good to see what we are in for:O)
    But we will be in TX so I wont have to schedule appointments:O)
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. 6 Lindsey O March 13, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    What do you do with your kids during support appointments? babysitter? do they come? do you stay at home with them while your husband gets a sitter? do you always do the same thing. we’re support raising right now with a one year old and are having a hard time with this question. mostly because they are late and i love putting my son to bed, and i’m still nursing.

  6. 7 tai lieng Mien phi September 27, 2014 at 4:44 am

    It’s difficult to find well-informed people in this particular subject,
    however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

  7. 8 tai Game pikachu mien phi cho android September 29, 2014 at 6:04 am

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
    In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you
    write again very soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: