A few weeks ago I got home around 5:00 on a Saturday evening after my time in the States. While unpacking two large suitcases, I was warmly welcomed home by my dog and cat.
But many people welcomed me home too (while commenting on how fat I was).
I’ve discussed before how missionaries have “two homes.” A natural home (where they were born) and a current home where they live and minister. But the truth is Saint Vincent will always be home for me.
This of course doesn’t mean I can’t visit the friends and family in the States (as I wrote about last week). But something from the mission field continually draws you back, and that is where you would prefer to be.
And part of making the mission field your home is giving up your American cultural views.
Almost every missionary experiences “culture shock” on the mission field. Sometimes this can be a basic thing like noticing individuals there don’t do things the way it’s done in the States (in extreme cases the American way is viewed as the “right way”).
However, culture shock usually comes in more subtle ways. Like communicating with loved ones in the States, while watching your favorite US tv shows, and listening to your favorite American music. Social media and technology allows the missionaries home to be a safe-haven where it seems as if they’d never really left the States.
This makes the transition to the field much easier….
but it also damages the missionary’s testimony.
Though the will always be American, the missionary is called to embrace the foreign fields culture instead of America’s.
This is applied many ways…but one of the most important is asking “how do you do it here?”
I will always love America
But petting my beloved guard-dog on my porch that night my lips shared the words of my heart.
It’s good to be home.