Tuesday, March 13, 2012

#99 Meet the parents

Mom and Dad, these are our friends who read our crazy blogs. Friends, this is Mom and Dad. Enough said? They’ve been here for a month already and I’m finally getting this blog finished.

Okay, okay. I’ll write more.

My Mom. Also known as Nana Bland to Zane and Lyol. Friends call her Dolores. I call her Mom.

Back in Oklahoma you would find Mom helping everyone and their dog with errands. From running church kids to school, visiting with friends and sick people, and shopping for anyone who might need something. Her hobbies include gardening, traveling, sewing, camping, and visiting her grandkids.

My Dad. Also known as Papa Bland. Friends call him Rollin or Dr. Bland. I call him Dad.

Back in Oklahoma you would find Dad working as a family medicine doctor. Of course his hobbies are haying the fields for his cows, Um, yeah....most people would call that work, but that was a hobby listing. Back to hobbies...taking pictures (understatement), birding, camping, gardening, traveling, and millions of others.

I’m the youngest of 4 children. So I guess that means I’m the spoiled one. Yeah, yeah. Spoiled enough to get her parents to move to the middle of no-where desert Tchad! Yeah, you heard me...move here. My parents have moved here!

It’s not their first time living in Africa. When they were spry chickens, they spent 3 years in Nigeria. My brother was even born there! But this was long before I came along. When I was in college I spent a year in Zambia as an SM. I was very sad to leave and a nun on the airplane consoled me, “Once you get Africa in your blood, you’ll be back.” And she was right. With me... and with my parents.

Last summer, we were talking a lot about expanding. We’d been talking about recruiting another doctor to help. Olen kept saying, would you rather have so and so....or your dad? Would you rather have him or her...or your dad?

It’s not every son-in-law that offers his wife to invite the in-laws to move to a tiny little compound with 3 houses where everybody else knows your every business. It’s definitely not every son-in-law who writes a multiple-page proposal to convince his in-laws to move in next door and become coworkers! But Olen stepped it up for better or for worse.

They are already both hard at work. Dad in the hospital, Mom watching the grandkids. She’s already canned 8 jars of green mangos too! And made 6 green mango cobblers (tastes like half peach half apple pie). Mango season is just beginning!

Now for the hard part... learning French!

Here are very short excerpts from the four-page proposal that was given to Mom and Dad from Olen to convince them to come.

Mom and Dad come to Tchad

Convince Mom and Dad to move to Tchad.

Why we want Mom and Dad to take the position:
You are the two most generous people we know, created to be missionaries. You are wonderful missionaries in Oklahoma, and we think you’d be wonderful missionaries in Tchad.
You have missionary experience.
You are family. We want our kids to grow up with their grandparents. We’re thinking of what a blessing it would be to have grandparents nearby.

Why we want Dad specifically:
He’s an extremely talented surgeon with incredible missionary medicine experience.
He could really get involved in evangelism and outreach in the church.
He’s a natural leader and will be immediately respected due to age and experience and education.

Why we want Mom specifically:
One of the world’s greatest cooks and an outgoing personality.
She could really get involved in the church school (including teaching English) and the church and church planting and the nutrition center and flying with the pilots for mobile clinics, etc.

Benefits for us:
Obvious. We have our parents next door and our children’s grandparents next door. We also have another person to share the workload with.

Benefits for Dad:
Gets to be the missionary surgeon again, as well as administrator.
No call!!! (Almost.)
No paperwork (except what you want to read later), billers, coders, lawyers, lawsuits, etc.
65 days of vacation each year for other mission trips, photography trips and visits to family.

Benefits for Mom:
Gets to watch her grandchildren grow up.
Has a husband who works less and has almost no call.
Moves from missionary in Oklahoma to missionary in Tchad, donating time and energy to the church, school, nutrition center, hospital, etc.
65 days of vacation each year for other mission trips, photography trips and visits to family.

Drawbacks for us:
We don’t get to see Mom and Dad on vacation. But we get to see them the other 10 months.

Drawbacks for Mom and Dad:
One long vacation a year instead of several shorter ones.
Loss of social network in Jay (at least, face-to-face contact).
Loss of missionary service in Jay.

Deal sweetener (and this is only if you desire):
Danae and Olen have decided that, after mission service, Mom and Dad would be welcome to live with us. We could buy a big piece of property and build a three-bedroom house for Mom and Dad.

No comments:

Post a Comment