Welcoming the Missionary Family
Welcoming Our Missionary
by Beth Reese
In preparing to receive a missionary family back to their supporting congregation, think about the return from the view point of the missionary. Few missionaries feel good about people saying, “Welcome Home!”. Sometimes they don’t feel good about being here. Often the kids were born and reared overseas, so the US is NOT home.
The purpose is to help the missionary family:
Feel loved, cared for, and appreciated.
Recognize the good that has come from the time they spent on the field.
Help them feel good about moving on to the next purpose that the Lord has given.
Missionaries don’t know what to expect from a congregation in regards to a Welcome, but what we do and say will answer their question, “Does anyone even care?”
Reverse Culture Shock –each person in the family can react differently.
Feel out of place
Feeling lonely; odd man out
Reaction to materialism
Reaction to lack of mission – what other Christians are doing & their own position in the church
Ask good questions:
Everyone will say, “Oh, and what will you be doing now?” “Where will you live?”
What do you think was the Lord’s purpose for your time in (country)?
How have you been changed by your time there? How are you a better person because of your experience?
Tell us about individuals that you feel you made a difference in their lives?
Tell us how the church in (country) has changed during your time there?
What kind of influence to you think your presence in (country) has been on other Christians in that country? Tell us about your experiences with Christians elsewhere?
What about the influence on your children – do you think they will be any different from children born and reared here in the US? Why?
Are you planning to keep up the (foreign) language with the children? How will you go about it?
There have been many big changes in your lives recently? How are you feeling right now?
What do you need from us in the next few weeks? For what can we be praying for?
What are your biggest challenges to the time in (new home)?
What are your dreams for down the road?