Whenever we arrive home from one of our overseas adventures, we face the same two questions and this time has been no exception.
- Are you happy to be home?
My stock answer is “It’s always nice to come home!”
As much as I enjoyed China, I am happy to be back in Canada. We are so blessed and we take so much for granted here. I’m happy to be back where the air is clean. China burns roughly as much coal as the rest of the world combined and one of those smokestacks was practically outside our window. According to a recent study, pollution from burning coal has reduced the life expectancy of the 500 million people living in northern China by five years!
I’m very happy to have my kitchen back. Cooking on a single burner got old fast! I’m even happy to have extra people to cook for. We have a young family staying with us for a little while until their house is ready to move into.
Shopping at the street market was exciting at first but the novelty soon wore off and I’m happy to be wheeling my grocery cart through the aisles of my local grocery store again. I can read all the labels and I know where to find the things I want. Heck, I even know what everything is and I don’t have to look past the pig feet and the chicken feet to find the ground beef!
Of course, the best thing about any place is the people and we’re definitely happy to be closer to family and friends again. In fact, we already spent several days in Calgary with our daughter and her growing family last week. It was especially exciting for me to be able to accompany her to an ultrasound appointment where I got my first glimpse of our next grandchild! “Baby Pea”, so called because at just six week’s gestation he/she looked like a little pea with a heartbeat, is due in mid March.
And then there’s the other question…
- What’s next?
People started asking this one before our suitcases were unpacked and we’d fully emerged from the fog of jet lag! The answer is simple… we have no idea!
We do have a couple of feelers out concerning possible short term mission opportunities but it’s far too soon to know if either of those will pan out. There’s a great big world out there and far too much of it that we haven’t seen yet so I’m sure we’ll figure it out. In the meantime, we’re off to Family Camp at Camp Harmattan next week where we’ll park the trailer beside the Little Red Deer River and enjoy a week of fun and fellowship. Then, toward the end of August, we’ll head for the BC coast where we’ll spend some time with my parents, our oldest son and our other set of grandchildren.
Home is a good place to come back to but as everyone in our small community knows, those DeBocks don’t stay home very long!