How Family and Friends Can Help

Susan Pottberg assists as Westover Hills CoC welcomes home returning missionaries Richard and Linda Benskin, Joanna, and Daniel from Ghana.

How Can Family and Close Friends Help the Returning Family?

by Beth Reese


 1.       Recognize that the missionary family has mixed feelings about being here.  As excited as they are to be with you whom they have missed dearly, they also are missing those they have left behind.

 2.       Be at the airport when they arrive.  Show your love and support.

 3.       Fix their favorite American foods they may have missed or take them out to their favorite places.

 4.       At the same time, find a balance, and try not to be overwhelming. 

 5.       After the initial welcoming home phase, for those who live in the same area, try not to expect your missionary family to always want to spend all of their free time with you.

 6.       Let your missionary family make their own decisions about how they spend holidays without a lot of pressure from you.  Invitations are great; pressure or retribution is not.

 7.       Listen to the stories your missionary wants to tell.  Encourage them to tell you about their friends in their mission country.

 8.       Be a servant for the Lord.  Offer help in getting the family involved in family, church, local events, but be willing to let them decide if they want to or not.

 9.       Help in making contacts for what interests the missionary family. (home schooling)

 10.   Be prepared for tears, emotions. Don’t take them personally.

 11.   Don’t make the missionary feel guilty for all the events they have missed while they have been away.

 12.   Be willing to have family discussions with kindness to determine what each individual needs and wants in the new relationships.

 13.   Realize that your missionary family has had to become a self-sufficient unit on the field. Quote from a recently returned missionary wife:

What has been the hardest thing about your reentry experience?

"Getting family to understand that just because they were thrilled we were home, we weren’t and we need space and time to adjust our family to living here.  They tried to push us in finding a church family when all we wanted to do was spend time as a family."

 

Do you want to attend an InterMission event? Find out if you qualify. Fill out a registration form for each family member who will attend for Global Reunion and one per family for other events.

Please fill out our contact form and tell us where you work and the congregation that supports you.

News

Our next ReEntry InterMission is coming up soon: Oct. 6-7, 2017 at Memorial Road Church of Christ in Edmond, OK.

GLOBAL REUNION

The Global Reunion for 2017 will be July 24-28. It will be held Monday-Friday instead of over a weekend. Since numbers are getting so large, please remember to register early . Early Bird registration to save $25 each will be through  June 15. No registration will be taken after July 1. The TCK camp has expanded to include the whole family from ages 5 and up. Contact us if you have a younger one and need special arrangements. Each person needs to register individually so that we have the information for everyone.

 

InterNational InterMission: Nicaragua will host InterMission Central America April 3-7, 2017. Couples and families from Central America are welcome to apply for registration.