The Myth of a Missionary Vacation

Written on: July 31, 2023

Article by: Thayer Salisbury

I trust that none of you believe in the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, or the myth of a missionary vacation. Our visit to the States is certainly a change of pace, but it is hardly a time of fun and frolic.

We left Eswatini the morning of June 6. We were supposed to drive to Johannesburg and then fly to Frankfurt and Detroit. After reaching Detroit we were to drive to Fort Wayne, Indiana. Before we ever reached Johannesburg our plans began to change. Lufthansa had some kind of delay that made the Johannesburg to Frankfurt to Detroit route impossible. So, they put us on British Airways to London and on Delta from London to Detroit. Unfortunately, our bags went on to Frankfurt and from there to Atlanta. They were finally reunited with us on June 9, late in the evening.

Saturday, June 10, the work began. We drove to Toledo and made a presentation concerning the work for all the area congregations. Fifty brothers and sisters were present. On Sunday Chery made a presentation to the children, while Thayer made a presentation to the adults at Flanders Road.

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Monday morning, we stopped by the credit union to make some adjustments to our account, and then headed on to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The car looked and ran great. But the AC did not work. We did not need it that day (thanks to the cooling effect of the fires in Alberta). But we decided that it ought to be fixed. While working on the AC, we discovered that the brake lines were all seriously corroded. Not having time, or the right equipment, to repair the brake lines, we left our car with Joseph (our oldest son). We borrowed a car from Thayer’s brother and continued with our appointments (Broad Top, PA on June 18, Kingwood, WV on June 22, Ravenna, Ohio June 24 and 25, Streetsboro, Ohio June 25, and Paulding, Ohio on June 28).

Sunday, July 2 was the only time slot not filled, so we worshipped with the East Allen Church in New Haven, Indiana that Sunday. Although we were not able to make a presentation, we were able to talk with a few people who are aware of the work, and to sign a few up to receive the newsletters.

Encouraging gestures

Everywhere we have gone, we have been encouraged.

At the area-wide presentation in Toledo, Kevin Syph of the Ridgewood church suggested that a collection be taken to help cover our travel expenses. Something like that has been done at each place we have stopped. This has relieved a burden from us. We had saved up enough to the round-trip airfare, but we did not have money to the ground travel in the States. Everywhere we have gone we have received enough to cover the expense of travel. It most cases the amounts were generous beyond our expectations.

We cannot travel to all the places from which we receive support. We set up a Zoom call with the Northern Lights Church in Fairbanks. The technology did not work perfectly, but it was better than not being able to speak with them at all. One supporter from Texas, knowing that we could not travel there, came to Indiana to see us!

The bottom line

While hardly a vacation, the trip has been encouraging so far. We have been able to report to many who already support the work, and to introduce others to what we are doing. We look forward to returning to the work toward the end of the month. But first we must travel to Mississippi to see Preston and we still have presentations to make at Portland and Lagrange Indiana and in Champaign, Illinois.

African Textbook Ministry, Church of Christ, 5130 Flanders Road, Toledo, OH 43623


Our phone number while in the States (until July 24) continues to be 260 298 3611.