Itinerate - Things to Be Thankful For While You Travel and Raise Support

Things to be Thankful For While You Itinerate

Yep. It’s time to itinerate.

This is a great word that means “to travel from place to place to perform one’s professional duty.”

What is our “professional duty” while we itinerate? What do we do while on furlough?

Support raising. Sharing missions. Connecting with supporters. Visiting churches. Meetings with pastors and missions boards.

What does all of that mean?

TRAVEL. And lots of it.

Calling, traveling, praying, waiting, trusting, speaking, teaching, sharing, asking.

Finding places to live, crashing with family, needing vehicles.

Sharing one hotel room for 5 days with 3 teenage girls. Enough said. #furloughfun

Experiencing reverse culture shock, coming back to the states for the first time in years, trying to remember names, places, dates, people, and churches.

Seeing all the ways you’ve changed, home has changed, culture has changed and figuring out your place in it all.

Being on itineration can be challenging for sure.

But, I am recognizing more and more every day how blessed we are to itinerate in the 21st century.

There are things that I am incredibly thankful for, things that make our lives so. much. easier.

Itinerate and Be Thankful

1. Our cellphones. Seriously. How on earth did people in general make it before phones but how did missionaries trying to itinerate make it before cellphones? Specifically, our iPhones. Really, honestly, truely… these babies can do anything we need them to do. Scan in receipts, keep our calendar, give us directions, google phone numbers, give us church information, tell us the weather… our lives are daily impacted by our iPhones. We can preach from them, speak remotely over facetime, stay in contact with the girls who are with grandma… on and on it goes.

2. Unlimited Data. As we travel around, we spend hours and hours driving. HOURS in the car. Being able to stream movies, music, podcasts, audio books and radio apps has been the best thing since sliced bread for a missionary family on itineration! Having the data to use our phones as hot spots for our laptops has also been a blessing. We don’t have to worry if the place we are staying has wifi for us. We just use our unlimited data. Amazing.

{can you tell we are a traveling techy family?}

Itinerate - Things to Be Thankful For While You Travel and Raise Support

3. Drive Throughs. After being overseas for 3 years where NOTHING is drive through and NOTHING is fast, being able to drive through and have dinner for the family in less than 15 minutes is a miracle.

4. Coffee shops. There is something about a perfect skinny vanilla latte that makes the next hour’s drive much more enjoyable. We love finding an out of the way, local coffee shop to try as we travel through so many new places.

All the #goodwintravels moments generally involve coffee of some kind.

5. iPads. These have made traveling with kids a dream. They can read, watch movies, play games, listen to music, have books read to them, color, take pictures of our travels, video each other and who knows what all else on one small device. With a few rules, of course. Thank you to all the friends and family who made purchasing 3 iPads possible for this family. They are truly making this support raising season endurable for the girls.

6. Facebook. This has been THE best source of connection for us as missionaries. We can almost immediately connect with anyone about anything. Facebook helps us itinerate, stay in touch with supporters, connect with churches and keep up with family. We love facebook.

Except when we DON’T love facebook. Read this.

7. Experiencing the seasons. In our overseas country, we only have rainy season and dry season. Always hot. Always sunny. Generally humid. Lots of sand. When we itinerate, we get to see fall colors, spring flowers, dandelions, lightning bugs, snowflakes, a good midwest thunderstorm, green grass in summer. Every day is different and you actually need to check the weather forecast!

Itinerate - Things to Be Thankful For While You Travel and Raise Support

8. Google. We can get any information that we need at any time. Any web page, any store info, any phone number or address… it is all there for us and available very quickly. Top ten restaurant lists, family activities, things to do, best coffee shops and whatever else we want to research while on the road!

Check out how we budget for all this family travel.

9. Gas Buddy App. We use this constantly. We never know what gas prices are going to be and that helps us decide when and where to fill up! Saves us money {and time!} on every trip we take.

10. Rest. I don’t know how to explain it but when we are overseas, getting rest is tough. We have to always be on guard in ways we can’t explain. Everything is work, conveniences are few, quiet is rare and safety is never taken for granted. We live with bars on the windows, dangerous roads, animals all around, dirty water, inconsistent electricity, no AC and few friends. So while we itinerate, we need rest. REAL rest. Quiet, open, green, beautiful places to rest, rejuvenate, regroup, refresh and heal. Being able to let our guard down, sleep, be comfortable and relax is such a gift for a missionary family on itineration. Just being able to walk outside without worry makes our hearts happy. Any way you help make that happen is a very needed, very real blessing.

Itinerate - Things to Be Thankful For While You Travel and Raise Support

11. Seeing family. Going years without actually being in the same room as our families is very hard. Years of missing birthdays and weddings and births and deaths. Years of facetime on Christmas day, years of trying to communicate via facebook or voxer. All of the sudden, you are in the SAME ROOM as your family. People who know you best. People who believe in you. People who love you no matter what. Being able to see family, spend time with family and be a part of all things family is a thing to be thankful for on itineration for sure.

12. YOU! This blog/facebook/twitter/instagram… it all connects us to friends and family. We are so thankful to have this outlet to write about the daily life of raising support and to have you all right there with encouraging words and promises to pray. Having you all along for the ride while we itinerate is invaluable!

The season to itinerate for a missionary is not easy. It is a lot of work, a lot of travel, a lot of learning.

But it can also be amazing.

What are things you are thankful for while you itinerate?

What is something on this list you didn’t realize about missionaries on itineration?


  1. Is there an app to scan reciepts? I had no idea! We are just starting our support raising and so have not experienced an itinerate yet, but I am thankful for churches taking us out to lunch and potlucks offered by churches on the Sundays that we visit! It makes the trip cheaper for us!

  2. IBOTTA is great for when grocery shopping. you can get cash back and when you reach $20 you can get a gift card. Also if you have a local library card or your family does sometimes they have free apps that you can rent movies, audiobooks, or books for free from.

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