22 October, 2014

Perplexing the People in Perth

We had many conversations in Western Australia. A couple of unexpected themes emerged early on. 

Length of Stay
People expected that we were staying in Western Australia for a greater length of time than eight days. A common question was, "So, how long are you here." This was confusing for me to start with, I always had to define "here": "Do you mean Australia or Western Australia?"
David with our two older boys enjoying a Perth park.

When I explored this expectation further with some people they confirmed that it is rare for missionaries to just drop in to Western Australia for a week or so. They usually come over only because they used to live there or have relatives there. Our visit was entirely on the edge of ordinary.

Boys at school
It seemed to catch people by surprise that our boys were at school in Queensland. I suspect most people assumed that we live a nomad lifestyle while on home assignment and home school our boys. When I explained that we had to keep our visit short because we'd taken our boys out of school people were confused.

Extensive deputation, no?
We often got asked "So where do you go next?" Again people were surprised to hear that we really only had two out-of state deputation trips, Western Australia and the ACT. We've kept our support team as streamlined as possible. No, we don't have 50 churches all across Australia to visit. Less than 20, I think, and most of them within a few hours of our base in Ipswich.

Is this just a Western Australia thing? Or do others think of home assignment as a time when missionaries are perpetual nomads, roaming the countryside and not stopping in any one place for very long? Would you assume that we were home schooling our boys while in Australia if you hadn't been reading this blog?

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