With the return of summer also comes the return of your church’s missionaries. Some may need housing and a vehicle. Others who have been away longer, or in a difficult field assignment, may need to debrief in a more intentional way with the help of a caring, neutral environment like Link Care, or get some much-needed cultural training through WorldView. For many who have close relationships in your church, it will be a much-anticipated reunion with friends, families, and supporters.
But don’t be surprised if your missionaries seem not to be as excited to see you as you think they should be.
A friend who had served overseas and is now contemplating a return to the field, recently sent me an article, Ten Things that Your Missionary Will Not Tell You, written by a worker in Bolivia – who LOVES being a missionary. It reminded me how difficult missionary life is, and how challenging “homestay” assignments can be.
As you prepare to welcome your workers, keep in mind that their transition from the “Home” God’s called them to, back to the “Home” of their origins, is not, typically, an easy one. Recognize that you see our country like an ongoing video, while they see it more like a series of still photos – taken in 2-5 year installments!
Be prepared to listen well and provide space for them to be “normal”. If you have questions on how to make the most of the opportunity, don’t hesitate to ask the experienced folks who make up our Care ConneXion leadership team, who you may email at: CareConneXion@gmail.com. Finally, don’t forget to let your guard down, and laugh a lot with your dear missionary friends this summer – they need it, and so do you!