The Celebes Mission Home: Making a Home-Away-from-Home for Weary Travelers
Two years ago yesterday we landed at our final destination in Asia-Pacific, in the city that was to become our home. Masked, exhausted, largely pregnant, and traveling at that point simply as an act of obedience to what we knew the Lord had led us to do, we collapsed in the home of some coworkers who were back in the U.S. on home assignment. Our own house had a month’s worth of full-time work to be done and was currently unlivable. What a blessing to use that “loaner house” as a place to eat, sleep, and get clean after long, hard days of renovation! We even spent Christmas there 12 days after our arrival (I’ll never forget it), with borrowed gift bags substituting as stockings and plastic shopping bags for wrapping paper.
It was fitting that when the family who owned that house was unable to return to the field, our team decided to purchase it as a mission home–a place for families in transition or needing a break from interior ministry to use as a retreat or base of operations. Since its first official use as a mission home in September 2021, the location has proved to be a blessing to multiple families and individuals.
Primarily, our goal is to provide a place of rest and recuperation for families in our organization who work interior. In this sense, the mission home is a personal extension of the aviation ministry. Payton and Grace Downing’s family is one that has benefitted from the mission home as both a retreat and operating base while they take care of paperwork and supplies in town. Grace writes,
For most people, traveling is fun, but between many visa trips and sometimes frustrating boat travel, having a familiar place to land is so refreshing! Three weeks in a hotel would be torture for our kids (2 and 7 years). Having a full-sized house with a yard and room to roam makes the transition easier and lets us actually relax.
Greg and Kadie Ried, co-laborers with the Downings, write,
We are so thankful to have the new mission home as a place to land when we come out of the village. Prior to the mission home being available, there weren’t good options for a place to stay in town. The MH has helped our breaks be much more relaxing and enjoyable.
More broadly, the mission home also provides a place for others in ministry who are passing through or in transition. We’ve hosted several families who, like us in December 2020, were moving to the area and needed a place from which to operate while fixing up their permanent homes. Nicole writes,
We are so thankful to have had the [mission home] as a home-away-from-home for the last three months. We would not have been able to return to this region as a family without a place to stay close to the ‘base.’ Because we had a place to live and operate from, we were able to fix up a house to live in that required extensive time and effort. Thankfully the Lord was already preparing the mission home for us before we even knew we would be needing it.
The mission home was purchased largely through personal funds as our team recognized the great need in our location for proper facilities by which to provide hospitality. If you would like to contribute to the costs of this project and join us in our endeavor to minister to fellow workers in this very practical way, please visit the Celebes Mission Home project page. We are all blessed to be a blessing to others!