|Don Seeger, a Louisville Presbyterian Furlough Home board member, speaking at ceremony. Source: Presbyterian Mission|
For more than fifty years, the Louisville Presbyterian Furlough Home has served as a respite for missionaries working overseas with the World Mission for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Located on the campus of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, the Furlough Home has provided missionaries with an opportunity to meditate, and reflect in preparation for re-engagement.
During times of conflict, the home has provided shelter to missionaries needing an unexpected return home.Now as development surrounding the seminary campus makes way for high-end homes, friends, missionaries and Furlough Home board members are now saying their goodbyes to a place that has meant so much over the years as it demolition date approaches.
In an hour-long ceremony held August 22, 2021, community members reflected on their experiences either staying as a guest at the Furlough host or working with local congregations welcoming new residents.
Furlough Home board secretary and an interpretation specialist for the Presbyterian Mission Agency Mary Nebelsick said, “When your home is another country and you are beloved and love it there, there is a yearning for home. That’s what Furlough Home was for me as a child…the warmth that enveloped each mission co-worker” in the form of groceries awaiting their arrival as well as toys, bicycles and musical instruments for their children.
Rev. Debbie Braaksma, the former Africa coordinator for World Mission noted, “The Furlough Home has been a significant part of what God has done through Presbyterian World Mission. These mission workers responded to God’s call, and Presbyterians gave and prayed.”
Today, 94 million people around the globe have been touched by Presbyterian missionaries and missions co-workers. “That’s certainly something to rejoice in,” Braaksma said.
Though the Furlough Home will no longer physically stand, it will remain in the hearts and minds of the families whose lives its missionaries helped to touch.
Source: Presbyterian Mission