When Dad Travels

— by Eliza

Dad travels monthly. Sometimes it is a long weekend and other times it is as much as 2 weeks.

It is not easy to say good bye. It is not easy to wait for his return. But, we are learning with each trip the lessons God would have us learn in this our vocation as missionary family.

We are not alone.

We are blessed to live in a building with other missionaries. We are blessed to have additional missionaries in the city. We have also made friends in the area. There is help with childcare, meals, and more.

Plus, we are learning to have a different routine when Dad is gone. We are also learning to be a support system for each other. Big sister and big brother help little sister and little brother. 

Mother learns flexibility and then teaches that as well as school to her children.

And when Dad returns we have so much to tell about the places, people, and projects we’ve studied and visited.

It’s not easy, but it is also teaching each of us that our Lord Jesus is holding us in His arms. He is traveling with Dad and He is staying home with us.

We are His. He has called us to this life and He is giving us our daily bread.

The Million Dollar Question

— by Eliza M. Askins

With each stop and each encounter of sharing the work we are preparing to do in Asia, we are asked, "when do you leave, move, go, etc?"

Well, only the Lord knows.

And it is so hard to wait to go. It is hard to come home after days and weeks away to this house. It is hard to travel hours in a van. It is hard to meet new people week after week. It is hard to say goodbye to both the new and old friends we meet along the way. It is hard to be patient.

But, that is the cross we now bear.


We will leave when there are presentations and preaching scheduled. We will leave when someone calls to see the house. We will move from this house only when there is a buyer and a closing. Then, whatever we have will be sold or given away. Or a few things moved and tucked in a storage unit for the small shipping container we might send over the ocean.

We will go to Hong Kong only when the magic monetary number is reached and all the correct paperwork is processed and approved. We will leave, move, and go on the Lord's clock.

And this is not easy because it's a clock I cannot see.

The days pass by and the hours tick away, but I don't have a visual count down clock showing me when it is time to leave, move, or go.

And in that I realize, God has to be in control. Only He can raise this amount of money. Only He can sell this house in which a traveling family of seven still lives with all their possessions and limited time and energies for home improvements beyond the day to day routines and up-keep. Only He can cross all the T's and dot all the i's according to His time.

So, the answer to the million dollar question, only the Lord knows when. So, I'm leaving, moving, and letting go because I am not in control. But, finally in this I'm acknowledging who is in control and trusting the Lord. 

1. I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus, Trusting only Thee; 
Trusting Thee for full salvation, Great and free. 

2. I am Trusting Thee for pardon; At Thy feet I bow,
For Thy grace and tender mercy Trusting now. 

4. I am trusting Thee to guide me; Thou alone shalt lead, 
Ev'ry day and hour supplying All my need. 

LSB 729:1–2, 4

Never Say Never: One Day You Will Drive a 12-Passenger Van and Enjoy It!

— by Eliza M. Askins

Before I was married, I vowed never to buy a grocery-getter station wagon. As young parents, we said, "never will we own a mini-van."

And then we were expecting child number 4. Now, I can't imagine driving anything else. Where would we put all the water bottles and sippy cups? How would all the car seats fit? How would I buckle or unbuckle the car seats if I could fit them?

But, I've said time and time again, nothing bigger than the mini-van. We bought an 8 passenger mini-van and should have enough space, right? Now while building our support network, we have been driving a 12-passenger Ford Transit. And yes, we have both swallowed our words and decided that if we were staying in the States, our next vehicle would be one of these.

Except, we'd have cruise control and more cup holders.

The space is great; even with three weeks of stuff, we can see out of the back window. There is a seat between children to prevent the he's-touching-me bellows. It rides smooth and gets great gas mileage. We can even take others with us along our travels. Wanna come too?

Kiddos in the Ford Transit 350

Kiddos in the Ford Transit 350

They are Children

— by Eliza M. Askins

Please remember, they are just children. They did not choose to move across the ocean. They did not choose to sell or give away their toys, books, and stuffed animals. They did not ask to spend hours in a vehicle. They did not ask to sleep in a different house or hotel every other night. Yet, this is now their life.

They do ask, "Where are we going next? Can we go to a park or playground? Will you play a game with me? Will you read to me? When will be home? Can I have this or that or do I still have this or that at home?"

And in all this, I must remember they are just children.

They need hugs, kisses, and snuggles. They need routine. They need rest. They need to run, play, and laugh. And when these things are missing, they will in time act out and possibly misbehave.

They are children given to me by God, and I am called to love them unconditionally as He first and still loves me. May the Lord grant me patience and strength to allow my children just to be children.