A Week Of Processing, Grieving, And Rejoicing

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.

About Mike

Mike, 48, grew up in California and spent 38 years of his life there. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike worked in the California State Senate for 12 years. He became a Christian at the age of 20. Mike was a Ruling Elder at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church(PCA) for seven years. While at Soaring Oaks, Mike served as the Director of the High School Youth Group, Sunday school teacher, and instructor of evangelism. His cross-cultural missions experience includes five short term trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru (Lima and Cusco) through Mission to the World (MTW). He has volunteered with World Relief by teaching and counseling international refugees. Mike has also attended cross-cultural church planting conferences in New York and Orlando and completed the Perspectives course on the World Christian Movement. He attended Bible Study Fellowship for two years. He is a certified instructor through Evangelism Explosion and is a certified trainer of the Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention program. He completed MTW‘s Disaster Response Training. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written two books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. Mike received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike was a Ruling Elder, Youth Group Leader, adult Sunday school teacher and evangelism instructor at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, CA. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written two books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. From 2007 to 2017 Mike served as a fulltime missionary for MTW. Mike served as Team Leader, Church Planter, and Seminary Professor. Mike and his wife Erin served in Honduras in Central America and Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa. Mike currently serves as the Director of the MTW West Coast Hub where he trains and mentors new missionaries from CA, AZ, & NV. Mike is also busy writing his next book.
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