Repatriation is Our Word for the Next Year or So
Repatriation is the process of returning a person – voluntarily – to his or her place of origin or citizenship. This includes the process of returning military personnel to their place of origin following a war.
To me, this is both exciting and intimidating. We’ve not been permanent residents of the States for a bit over ten years now, more than a decade! Our first grandchild was two-and-a-half months old when we boarded the Thai Airways plane to move to Thailand, and he will be nearly 11 years old when we return. Four more grandchildren have been added over this past decade. To be able to see these five (and their parents) more frequently is EXCITING! To be able to see our parents and siblings more frequently is EXCITING! To experience cooler weather every year again is EXCITING! To be available to physically, spiritually, and emotionally help family members who may need help is EXCITING!
But, like I said above, there are also intimidating things. Mostly on the “logistics” end of things. We need to do all we can so that the church plant here in Tha Chat Chai remains stable when we leave. Before leaving for the States, we would love for Dana to be able to get his cataract surgery done so he can once again drive in the States. We’re not sure if our missions organization will allow special fund-raising for that. We need to close up house, sell or give away nearly everything (once again) – not that we have much of any value anyway – and start out with not much (once again). We’re so grateful that our daughter and her husband have found us an amazing vehicle at an even more amazing price, and will carry the debt on it until we’re able to reimburse them. We need to find work, not an easy thing to do when you’re 59 and 60 years old. Work that suits our giftings, and at a slower pace now that we’re seniors! Both of us would still like to do something ministry related. We need to relearn American culture. We need to catch up on news of the “little stuff,” and the “bit stuff” too!
We’re looking into a sea crate, or a portion of one, to transport some books – reference tools, training manuals, bibles and journals for the most part, a good portion of our clothing, and our “treasures” to the States. Waiting for a price on that! We’ll need all the start-up costs of new housing: first and last and deposits and all that. Everything except our computers and my US hair dryer and flat iron are 220AC, so anything you plug in in the States we’ll need. We’ll need to find affordable health care coverage.
The goal is to arrive on U.S. soil mid-March. The first month we’d like to take time to visit the family, whom we will not have seen in a year and a half, most of which lives on the West Coast between San Diego, CA and Vancouver, WA. Most of this has already been set up, since we were already planning to visit the States for a couple of months then anyway. However, God has led us to not just visit, but to repatriate this spring. By mid-April we’ll need to be seriously finding work.
Friends have asked how they can help, so here’s the short list.
Pray for us! That’s the most important thing you can do right now. I have lot of stuff to go through and prepare to give away, sell, or prepare for shipment.
Give to us! We are grateful that our missions organization, Shepherd’s Staff, allows special fund-raising and disbursements for repatriation.
Be on the look-out! Jobs you think might fit us, an apartment at a reasonable cost; basic furnishings – reply with your email if you want to see what we will need.