The gift of furlough

There’s so much more than words can say…

Thank you

doesn’t seem to come anywhere close to expressing what we truly feel…but still again our family says

“Thank you”

to each of you that contributed to making our furlough so incredibly special.

We were so pampered and well taken care of by friends and family that our hearts felt full, overflowing, and blessed many times over. God showed us His love and care for us through you, and we will always treasure the memories made and times spent together with so many of you. There are some of you who we would have loved to spend time with too, but time didn’t allow it. We regret that, but hope to be able to do so on our future travels to the States.

We were blessed to live in our friends’ very comfortable basement home, and given a vehicle that was more than accommodating, to use for our travels hither and yon to family gatherings, and countless trips to spend time with Gaylord’s dad.

Some of you helped cover the cost of our tickets to come home…Gifts of food and cash appeared all the time. We don’t know who all blessed us in these ways… some we do. Anonymous or known, we know the Father knows who you are. We pray His rich blessings on your lives for all of your kindness and generosity.

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Spending Christmas in Ohio with family and friends was so special, and seeing and feeling snow was just so exciting too!

We spent a weekend each with our extended families and have so many precious memories of both weekends. Laughter and fun with family is truly medicine for the soul, and we found it so refreshing and encouraging!

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There was joy and laughter, sorrow and tears, love and blessing…

these all made for a rich time of sweet memories.

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Austin arrived on the weekend my family, the Kauffmans, were together at the house on the bay, and surprised Cherie soundly. She had no expectation of his coming, and his arrival made for very interesting entertainment to those of us who were clued in! ๐Ÿ™‚

austin & cherie

Several weeks later he surprised her again…. On a cold, snowy day, he knelt in front of her by her favorite park bench, and asked her to spend the rest of her life with him. She said YES, and plans are underway for the very special day.

January 23, 2016

We rejoice with them!

God was so kind to us in giving us the opportunity to spend time with Gaylord’s dad during our furlough. He was in the hospital when we arrived and was released into hospice care from there. We knew he didn’t have much time left, but God blessed Gaylord with the gift of time with his father. He spent many days and nights there, and will always treasure the moments he had with him. He passed away the week before we returned to Thailand, and our friend/travel agent was able to extend our stay, so we could all be there for the calling hours and memorial service. We have such precious memories of those several days together as a Barkman family. We are sad that he’s gone, but rejoice that He could finally go Home!

daddy time

What a Godly legacy he left for us!

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(don’t ask what activity he’s involved in here) ๐Ÿ™‚

It was hard for us to leave Ohio and have Zach stay there, but (though its hard for us to believe) we find ourselves in this stage in life. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย We are so happy that he has the opportunity. He is working for Fairview Log Homes, and enjoys it. We are super excited for his return to Thailand on April 22. He is planning to board at IGo the rest of the year (first & second semester) and experience the life of a student in Bible Training. Christy is also planning to do first semester this year. Pray for them as they prepare for this experience.

Thank you for your prayers for our family.

Pray for continued health for us. It’s been a tough adjustment coming back in several ways. Cherie especially struggled with her health again. She is doing so much better the last two weeks, and we are so grateful for the Lord’s healing.

Pray for fresh vision and endurance to live out God’s calling on an every day basis.

We just found out that our landlord plans to sell the house we are renting. We are sad at the thought of leaving the village here, but pray that we follow God’s leading, where ever that may be.

Pray for our friend, Gaai. He comes every evening for food and someone to talk to. Gaylord and Trevor have been sharing the love of Jesus with him, and we pray that he will come to know Him as his Saviour and Lord.

โ€œI will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. (Isaiah 45:2-3 ESV)

I’m glad to be HIS!

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