‘Twas the day before furlough and all through the house,
Everybody was crazy, even the mouse.
With kilograms counted and carry-ons packed,
The dad will get asked, “Can I fit this last sack?”
With Ma on her IG and Pa on his Twitter,
They’ll update their close friends through one last newsletter.
Frazzled and frayed, the start of a furlough,
The family boards early with one last cold Milo.
Onboard entertainment will probably help
Pass the time and the sadness, and the little one’s yelp.
The children will sleep, if they’re any the wiser;
Jet lag comes for all, the great equalizer.
Arrival with greetings and baggage galore!
“Now pick up the kid sleeping on the floor.”
A welcome is waiting at somebody’s house,
Along with green grass and a bed without louse.
Awakened and rested, two weeks have now passed.
It seems like a dream the term that was last.
No VPNs needed! No guards at the gate!
And Grandma and Grandpa let parents go date.
“Another world that.” They’ll say to each other,
Debriefing and telling it all to the Mother.
Then shopping will start, making up for lost time,
Enjoying the produce and actual lines.
“The stores are so huge!” They’ll gasp and they’ll stammer,
With carts made for tonnage like fridges and jammers.
“All the things in one place?” A small child’s amused;
A TCK so he’s often confused.
The church is so clean, inviting and nice!
It’s also, turns out, surprisingly white.
The parks are amazing and so well maintained;
The trash is discarded and canines restrained.
Folks think that they’re on an extended vacation,
Relaxing and soaking up big adulations.
“Please Father forgive them, they just do not see,
The pressures and burdens of this ministry.”
The family will travel in borrowed van and,
They’ll tell all their stories and hope that you can,
Listen and care some, then get on your knees,
And join them in this work, their Life Overseas.
— Jonathan Trotter
From A Life Overseas