What is furlough?
By Webster definition, it is a leave of absence.
By biblical definition, It was originally intended for rest.
In Mark 6:31, Jesus exhorted the 12 disciples to come to a deserted place and rest.
Unlike the common misconception, this time is not vacation.
What does the typical schedule look like for a missionary on furlough?
In newsletters from various missionaries, we have found it can look many different ways. For some it can involve traveling from one coast to the other and staying in 10 different states in 3 months. This travel time involves raising support, visiting and speaking at supporting churches, and reconnecting with family and friends.
This is where having a car to drive high mileage is important.
However, some missionaries will stay most of their furlough is one place and do short term travel to supporting individuals and churches. They spend their time speaking at conferences and updating supporters. In order to return to their field and continue to be effective, these missionaries need to be able to have a time of rest.
This is where having a long term housing option is a valuable resource.
Furlough is also a valuable time for training, refocusing, and renewal. The day to day service on the field doesn’t allow time for personal growth. While they pour out to others everyday, they don’t necessarily have anyone leading and encouraging them in their walk with the Lord. They also need training on updates with technology and advancements in ministry. This time is also valuable to reassess and make adjustments to the day to day ministry.
This is why coaching and counseling are valuable tools.