At our Fundraiser Dinner in August our dinner guests had the opportunity to hear the story of the Block family’s challenging cross-cultural transition. We know many of you were unable to join us. In this Newsletter we wanted to give all of you the opportunity to hear how God has been using Sanctuary Inn in the lives of our missionary guests.
Thank you for all you do to support this ministry and place!
We arrived to social-distanced conversations and exclamations like, “Aren’t you so glad to be ‘home’?” OR, “Isn’t it so much better to be in California?” It was hard to say “NO!” But that was our truth. Our children had 6 days to pack up our home. They didn’t get to say goodbye to anyone, give hugs, or have closure of any kind. Our luggage was limited, so we left “things” that felt irreplaceable. Our boys had to make difficult choices. What’s worse – during our strict lockdown in South America, we reassured our boys, over-and-over again, that our flights were scheduled months away and we prayed that Covid would go away by then. Nothing went as planned.
When we got back to the States, our prospective jobs were “no longer hiring”, our secured housing was taken away, and our children couldn’t even see family members. But everyone we talked to was sure we were just relieved to be back.
Needless to say, we arrived at Sanctuary Inn exhausted, broken, lost, confused and questioning why the Lord had brought us back the way that He did. It was here that we found the comfort, relief, encouragement and community that we desperately needed.
In our debriefing session with Kara Githens, she helped us to name our transition. She helped us to acknowledge that it was “traumatic” and our shoulders dropped with relief. “YES! That’s what it feels like!” Steve and Joann Price sat across the dinner table with us and reminded us that it was normal to NOT feel excited to be back. We had the space to mourn the loss of friends, ministry partners, a home for our family, and even the “stuff” we had to leave behind. Along with Anna and Dan Abbott, they mourned with us. They cried with us. They laughed with us. They prayed with us. They poured grace upon us while we questioned the whole experience of transition.
Our boys worked with the amazing TCK team and put words to their feelings. They were also encouraged to continue the conversations with us after we left Sanctuary – and we did! We were given so many tools to be able to communicate as a family and to pray together about our move back.
Sanctuary Inn was a huge part of our transition back to the U.S. One year later, we still feel like we are transitioning. While the year has not gone as planned, we have been able to rest knowing that God’s plan is always better than our own.
– Jeff and Leanna Block