Furlough is a word that is going out of style. It's no longer a missionary buzz word. Instead we use words like "home assignment" or "deputation." But I like it. It reminds me that this next year, my furlough, is a time that was granted to me by Kids Alive. They have chosen to value my work here in Caraballo enough to grant me a leave of absence. I want to break it down as simply as I can, though, so that everyone (especially my supporters) understands the logistics of what happens when I go on furlough. So here are some facts: 1. I leave the Dominican Republic on June 11th and begin my Masters of Science in Elementary Education program at University of Pennsylvania on July 2nd. The program ends May 11th, 2013. 2. While I am at Penn, I will still be a Kids Alive employee. This means I will still receive my monthly salary. The money to pay my salary, as always, will come from my supporters (you, right??), even though I am not serving on the field during that year. 3. After I graduate from Penn, I will spend at least one more year serving Kids Alive. Right now the plan is for me to do that here in Caraballo, but if the Lord reveals a different plan, I will follow Him.
I know that some of you hesitate to continue supporting me during furlough - do you feel like you're paying for me to go to grad school? The truth is, though, that the degree I will earn from Penn will directly improve my ability to serve with Kids Alive and will better equip me to teach and lead other teachers. It's common for missionaries to go on an education furlough like I am doing so that they are more effective in their ministry.
I hope this makes sense... please do not hesitate to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions about what I'm doing next year, about furlough, about my finances/budget. My finances are open to my supporters because I know that I am accountable to both you and God for responsible stewardship of the gifts you have entrusted to me. It is my prayer and hope that God will continue to use you to provide for my physical needs as I prepare to serve more effectively here in the DR.