Tuesday Topic: Home Base when Raising Support or on Furlough

Another dilemma that many of us face with our semi-nomadic lifestyle! Please share your experiences and thoughts on finding a good living arrangement when you are back “home!”

From Karen: Where is “home base” in the US when you report to churches and raise new support? Do you stay with family or others? (If you stay with family or others, do you feel like you are putting them out?) Do you rent a house or an apartment? Does your church have a mission house?

(If you would like to pose a “Tuesday Topic” question, please email it to formissionarymoms@gmail.com . Provide your blog address if you would like to be linked to, and specify also if you would like to remain anonymous. Thanks!)

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13 Responses to “Tuesday Topic: Home Base when Raising Support or on Furlough”


  1. 1 Erin May 4, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Well this is certainly timely! We are getting ready to go on furlough in 4 months and we STILL have no idea where we will be staying. As we are returning in 6 months, we don’t want to sell all of our things just to re-buy, so we are hoping to rent out our house while we are gone (no such thing as storage areas, etc. here). We are from California – so renting an apartment while we are there is out of the question as it’s almost double what our housing allowance is…and so we wait…wait to see where God will place us – with friends/family – still not sure!

  2. 2 Ellie May 4, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Yeah, gets even harder when you have four small children, especially when three of them are boys! We did have an older lady who took us in twice and a couple who took us in once. They offered again, but it did not go well staying with them. Now the lady we used to stay with moved, so I have NO idea what we will do next time we go back!

    I’ve thought of seeing if we can rent/borrow a trailer and stay in a camping place or on someone’s property in our own space. Our church used to have a guest house, but tore it down. Pity.

    Now my children are not small, and are becoming teens. Still not finding people lining up to take in three teen/preteen boys!

  3. 3 Junglewife May 4, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    We are on furlough now. Our situation is even more complicated because this furlough is split between two different locations. It is not really an option to stay with family in either place, and since our entire furloughs are only 6 months long, and then split up between two locations, it’s not really an option to rent/furnish an apartment either! So, the Lord has really provided for us this time. In the location we’re at now, we’re staying in a little furnished guest-type house on a farm (found through a family my husband’s mother knows). In the other location (we’re leaving for there in just a couple days) God worked it out for us to house-sit for someone – the dates they needed a house-sitter are almost exactly the dates we needed a house!!! So, we’ll see what happens on subsequent furloughs (we’ll probably need to spend most of our time in one place as the girls will be in school) but for this time, He has provided!

  4. 4 Ashley L May 4, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    How interesting to hear how differently this works out for everyone! It seems like we can add general furlough housing prayer requests to the requests from last Tuesday as well!

    We have been blessed during our two trips back “home” to have amazing living arrangements. On our first trip we lived in the basement apartment of some friends from my parents’ old church for the first part and then moved in with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law for about 3 months. Both were great arrangements! For our second trip back we stayed for 4 months with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and our little nephew, and though we lived in close quarters, I can’t think of a better bonding experience. Those times are some of my most treasured memories! I definitely did fear that our constant daily presence would be burdensome to even our the most gracious of hosts (which our family are), but if they felt exhausted by our being there, they certainly were more than loving and gracious and incredibly sacrificial with all that they have and never made us feel that way.

    As both of our families have grown I think we have likely outgrown our chances of living with our family without smothering them (we went from 4 adults and 2 kids to now having 4 adults and 5 kids…). =( The next option is to camp in their backyard or convert their garage into a mother-in-law apartment! 😉 Like many, we don’t know what the next furlough will look like!

  5. 5 Alicia May 4, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Since we live close to the US, our furlough is a shorter time each year instead of an extended time every few years. The longest time we’ve ever spent in the US is 2-3 months for us to have our babies. I am so thankful that we have accommodating families who host us graciously. My parents have a room and bathroom above the garage and we stay there. It really works out well for us. Of course, I’m the oldest of 9 kids, so my parents are used to having a full house all the time.

    This is a good reminder for me to pray for all those who have this need! I never realized how much of an issue this can be for other missionaries.

    Just an idea: Ask around the church or area that you’re going to and see if anyone is in the rental business. My dad has a rental house business on the side and loves to be able to use his houses as a ministry opportunity for people. Maybe there are others out there like my dad!

  6. 6 Karen May 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    I really appreciate that my Tuesday Topic was so timely!

    We’re leaving for a 6 month furlough in about 3 weeks. We are staying with family in FL when we first get there, then have some time in July and August in GA and PA with family, and a missionary conference for part of a week where we stay in a dorm apartment. Then back to FL – where we don’t exactly know. We can stay with family, the same place where we will be next month, but our teen age nephew has to give up his room for us, and we don’t want to cause friction.

    We are hoping to raise funds so that when we go on furlough again, we may have some money to stay in missionary housing or a furnished apartment.

    It is somewhat comforting to know that others don’t have a rock-solid plan! I’m sure that it will work out, since the Lord will take care of us, but sometimes we like to know! 🙂

  7. 7 Amie May 4, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    I have really enjoyed reading through this Tuesday topic (thanks Ashley!) My family is stateside but we have spent some time discussing with seasoned missionaries with families some things they recommend doing before moving overseas (our missions plans were postponed by some medical complications with my older daughter which we are hoping will be resolved in the near future.) Hands down the first thing people said was how hard furlough was! Being in different locations each time and the difficulty their kids experienced if they moved back stateside to college because they had no “home base”. My husband and I (in light of this) bought a small home and have been working to pay it off. Right now we have three children at home with us in a two bedroom one bath home (small by stateside standards ONLY)…people often ask when we are going to move and we reply, no time soon! We are hoping to pay our house completely off in under 10 years so when we are able to go overseas we can use the home for missionaries to stay in, and then have somewhere to return on furlough. We often talk about this when we are “tempted” to purchase a larger home for our family and this topic was just the encouragement we needed to keep saving so our church can have a missions home. I will be praying for all of your furlough needs and if you are ever in furlough in the Seattle area we may not have an extra bedroom for ya but you are always welcome to crash our tiny home, the more the merrier!

    Blessings,
    Amie

  8. 8 Richelle May 5, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    We are so blessed because our sending church has two mission homes and we’re finishing up our furlough living in one of them. It is right next door to the church/Christian school and so gives us a great opportunity to connect with our church while on furlough.

    On the other hand, traveling around to visit churches – we are finding people more hesitant to host our family now (8 kids – including 2 teens) than they have been in the past – which means we’ve had some wierd accomodations in the past.

    Because we were leaving for a year long furlough, we ended the contract we’d had on the house we’d been renting (and subletting for previous, shorter home assignments), and had a tentatively firm agreement on a different place – which just fell through. So… now, we are facting the dilemna from the other direction – moving back to the field, hoping the termites haven’t consumed all we left in storage, and having no idea where we are going to land with our gang. And I’m trying to be thankful for this opportunity to trust God and take our need before Him instead of worrying…

  9. 9 Phyllis May 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    While this topic is up, I want to recommend Siloam Missionary Homes in North Carolina! It’s a wonderful place to stay!

    We usually go for shorter trips, and spend half the time with my family in FL and half with my husband’s family in NC. So, yes, we stay with family, but I don’t think we’re putting them out. I think they want us. 🙂 (When I say “shorter” it’s been 2-3 weeks in each location for a total of 4-6 weeks in the states.)

    This last time, when we were between countries, we had to stay longer. I think it worked out to 2 weeks with my parents, 2 weeks with his parents, and then 6 more weeks at Siloam. We did that to give ourselves some time away and not wear out our welcome with our parents.

    By the way, even if Siloam isn’t close to your “home bases” there were some families there who were making it their base while they traveled around the country, and that seemed to work well for them.

  10. 10 Ashley L May 5, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I just found this link with various missionary housing options all over the US, and even in other countries!

    http://www.missionfinder.org/resources.html#housing

    Not sure how current it is, but it has a bunch of links and phone numbers.

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