Tangible ways to care for us as we go to and return from Papua New Guinea:
- Sending letters or e-mails. We want to hear about your life, the life of the church and things that are going on back in the states. It helps us to feel we are not forgotten, we are still a part of the community.
- Care packages. Small or big, from an individual or a group. Everyone loves receiving presents. Especially for our kids, this will make them feel special. We have a list on Amazon.com to give you ideas. Search wish lists: The Larson family**** One thing to keep in mind, we cannot have food products of any kind shipped into the country. The best gifts are books, movies, and games. Things we can share with others as well as enjoy ourselves.
- Providing opportunities for true rest (particularly when we come home on furlough). If you have a place for us to stay and recoup as a family/couple for a few days it would mean so much to us. As much as we will love to be back in the states, we will need time to renew ourselves and debrief.
- Scheduling – Particularly when we return, and now as we are in the final stages of our fundraising, help with organizing talks, meeting people and all the logistical areas of partnership development would be invaluable. If you know someone we should talk to, want to put together a slide show for us, make copies of hand-outs, arrange for the snacks at an event, or even host an event, we would be so grateful.
- Grocery shopping – Again, particularly when we return, we anticipate there being culture shock. Even going to the store for milk and cereal will at first seem overwhelming. To have someone stock our fridge for the first week or so would be great appreciated.
In-tangible ways to care for us as we go/return
- Allow us to be human. We feel sad, angry, stressed just like everyone else.
- Understand that particularly for our children home is a complex concept.
- Keeping up with us as best you can, if we hear things like “How was your vacation to Africa?” we feel you don’t care about us, and we are sad. If you can’t remember, or don’t know something, ask, we won’t be offended.
- Just listen, don’t try to fix, particularly as we return we may need just to process things.
- Ask questions, please don’t assume all missionaries think or act the same.
- Understand we do value you and your friendship, just because we can’t meet you for coffee doesn’t mean we don’t love you. And we will do the same for you.