Thursday, January 30, 2014

Delightful Deputation (Part 3) The Fun

Delightful Deputation (Part 1) The Focus
Delightful Deputation (Part 2) The Family

Maybe your definition of deputation looks more like this:

That time period when it's work, work, work, and nothing but sitting in a car or sitting in a hotel until you reach the field.

Um, well, deputation can be that for your family if you make it that way. But we had a totally different experience because deputation is what you make it.

Our definition looked more like this:

That time period when a missionary family travels around seeing things most people only see in books while they visit different churches.

Biltmore House


While we were on deputation, we were in 21 States and two countries. After praying, we set a goal of two and a half years for our deputation, however, we made it clear that God was in control of our timing.  If He wanted our deputation to take longer or shorter, then we would trust Him.  Setting a goal helped us to stay focused, though. (I will let you know now, we reached the field in two and a half years. God blessed us so much.)

As we were travelling, if there was a site to see along our route, we took the time to see it.  I mean, think about it. Travelling in a van for hours and hours every week is like duct taping your children to a wall for hours every week. That doesn't make for very fun childhood memories, and to much "duct tape" time can encourage bitterness to creep in the hearts of children. Just because you are on the road, doesn't mean you stop living. With a little planning and foresight, every trip is a potential adventure.  And there are tons of adventures to be had that are very inexpensive or free without deviating very far off your path. There are also online coupons for many of these places.

Creation Museum in Kentucky


Do you homeschool your children? Well, you can have them read about the St. Louis Arch in a book...

Hotel homeschooling

(Boring!) Or you can stop in St. Louis on your way by.

St. Louis, MO

(By the way, the museum below the arch is wonderful!)

There are museums, zoos, landmarks, parks, monuments, and more all around the country. Deputation is an amazing educational opportunity for your children.

Creative Children's Museum, Chattanooga, TN

Hitting the Limits

We figured out our children's travelling maximum was about nine hours. That wasn't just when they starting getting bored or antsy. That was when they hit their emotional and physical limit. If a trip took longer than nine hours, we usually tried to divide it into two days. If there was a long trip, we also tried to plan some time outside the van. Time for some fun!

Niagara Falls on the way to Canada

Holes in the Schedule

Every now and then, we would have a dead spot in the calendar that we just could not fill.  We would be too far from home to make a trip back before having to head to the next destination. Time for a memory-maker road trip! That's how we ended up in Washington, D.C., as we were heading to Maryland.

Host Church Adventures

Several churches had adventures already planned for us. Sometimes they were adventures for our family to spend alone, and other adventures were times for our family to spend time with other missionaries and/or the church family. We treasured both kinds of outings. We loved the family time, but we also loved getting to know the members of the church and the missionaries.

Boating in South Carolina

There were gators in there!

Enjoying the beauty of West Virginia

(Funny story... when the children found out we were going to be near Orlando, their first thought was Disney. We told them it was out of our price range. They said they would just pray about it. I must confess, I shrugged the prayer off thinking THAT would never happen. The next day, the host church called to say they one of their treats was to send us to Disney.)

Hotel Adventures

Sometimes we were at a conference and would have nothing on schedule until the evening hours. If we discovered there was an interesting site nearby, we took advantage of it!  Often we asked the pastor or church staff for suggestions of places to go. We wanted to get the children out of the hotel as much as possible.

Virginia Beach

Greenville Zoo

Mount Airy, NC

Statue of Liberty

Exploring New York


As a result of planning ahead, a little flexibility, and a determination to get the children off the duct tape wall, we had a deputation that was full of fun, adventure, and fabulous memories.  We are now on the field and enjoy reminiscing about this special period in our lives.

So now we have added to our definition of deputation:

Pre-field Ministry

An Opportunity to Grow Closer as a Family

and now...

An Opportunity for Education, Exploration, and Adventure

To be continued...

Coming up...

By Charity, Southern Asia 


Rachelle Metzger said...

This was a neat post! My family is currently on deputation headed to Argentina and we have tried focusing on all three of your different items. It's so exciting to see our family grow closer (and our two youngest have received Christ as their Savior while on deputation), have lots of fun while seeing new places and visiting friends and family that we normally wouldnt see, and also do ministry here in the US while on the road. It's amazing to see how God can use us when we're just "passing through" a church. It's also nice to know that others are in the same boat we are!

Rosa B. said...

So true! We home school and have frequent field trips while on deputation. We've been to many of the sites you shared here! Makes for a nice, "well-rounded" education! :)