Author name: Matt Eck

More about OurTrip Home

Last month we wrote about how things are going on our current home service assignment (furlough) so I thought I would answer a few of the common questions that people have.

Why are you here and for how long?

Right now, every five years that we are in Austria we are required to come back to the States for a minimum of six months. It also happens that this coming January our church is having its biannual missions conference so we are staying here through January.
What will you be doing while you are here?
When we come back to the U.S. for any significant length of time we usually have three goals; rest, reconnect, renew.
Rest is actually harder than it sounds. Though we miss being in America while we are away, our home is no longer here. None the less, it is important, for a time, to get away from every-day ministry in Europe and reflect on where God has brought us and listen to where He might be leading us next.
Since Denton Bible Church is both our home church and sending agency, it is very important to reconnect with not only our office staff, but also our larger church body. Not only do we have opportunities to serve in the missions office, it is also important to us to get involved in things like Bible studies and mom’s groups. While we are away, it is easy for us to forget that there is such a wonderful local body of believers that love us and are behind what we are doing.
Finally, it is very important that we renew our ties with the individuals who are praying for and financially supporting our ministry. We do our best to communicate regularly though pictures, emails, and even calls, but there is nothing like sitting down face-to-face and getting a chance to swap stories and pray for one-another. We are very thankful for those who have been supporting our ministry and we are especially in need of new partners who will help to send us back by funding the ministry that we do in Central Europe.

That is what most people are asking us about this trip home. What do you want to know?

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A big trip

You may have heard that we are coming to America for the next six months starting this May, but you might still be wondering why. Well there are several reasons for this. First, due to the type of visa that we hold we are not allowed to stay in Austria for longer than five years at a time. In order to be eligible to stay for another five years we have to leave for six months. Not only does that mean that we’ve been here for almost five years already, it means that every five years we will have to do this, unless we can change the type of visa that we get. Now that the church is recognized this might be changing in the future, but for now we are trying to stick to the regulations.
Second, we are due for a home service or what is commonly referred to as furlough. We will be spending some time resting, but this will be no six month vacation! No our main purpose in a home service assignment is renew our ties with our sending church by spending time serving in ministry there as well as reconnect with our current supporters, which leads me to our final reason for coming home…
Support. We’ve never quite been fully funded during our time here, and that fact has really been felt over the last year. We are really hoping to get our numbers back where they need to be and it’s going to take a good chunk of time to get that task accomplished. Also, considering that we may be doing more traveling during our next term it would be good to have a healthy ministry budget. So please pray for us that the Lord will supply all of our needs during this trip. We are trusting that He will.

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