Erin and Mike set aside this past week to enjoy each other, rejoice in the Lord, grieve our leaving of the mission field, and celebrate rejoining our home culture. The weird flood of conflicting emotions we have experienced has been taxing. It sounds counterintuitive, but while living in third-world countries for the last 10-years was hard on us physically, it was enriching to our souls. Returning to the US seems like it should be a relief and make things easier. Yes, physically, things are much easier. Now, we must find our way to serve the Lord in a different way.
While Mike spent lots of time on the phone conducting interviews, participating in video staff meetings, and e-mailing dozens of pastors, we spent much time just reconnecting with our home culture and processing the move together. Mike and Erin spent lots of time laughing, crying, praying, talking, and processing.
The plethora of entertainment, purchasing choices, and distractions are abundant here in the US. We embraced the abundance of options available to us and immersed ourselves in the West. We hung out with family, went to the movies, went bowling, went for a long motorcycle ride, went miniature golfing, enjoyed shopping with choices, went shooting, attending a cooking class, and went to the beach. We did all of this in a single week. None of these things were readily available to us in the past 10-years, and it was fun to indulge.
Our hearts are more settled than they were a week ago. The time processing, and grieving, and rejoicing was strange for us and very needed. Our acclimation took a big leap forward this past week, but, admittedly we still have a way to go. Please pray we find God’s joy in all we do in our new homeland and ministry.