Taking part in missions work is an extremely rewarding experience, but upon your return home it can also be incredibly difficult. The following is a little something I shared with our team this week. I hope it can encourage you, even as it encouraged us.
“So, what’s next?”
I remember asking myself that exact same question last year after returning home from Ecuador. How are you supposed to be equipped to handle every day life in the States after seeing and experiencing so much? How are you supposed to get back to business as usual? The answer is both easy, and terribly intimidating at the same time. You can’t go back to how it was before, or at least you shouldn’t.
By sacrificing time, money, sweat, tears, love, and comfort you allowed God to literally move you, geographically and spiritually, beyond the spoiled apathy and monotony of the American Church. Your obedience in going brought about transformational leaving. You see, God had to remove you from comfort, entertainment, and even loved ones, to push you to the point where He could open your spiritual eyes so that you could see the world and the Church as He sees it. Just as you left behind so much in going, now you must ask Him to help you leave so much behind in returning.
Instead of filling our days with scheduled business and mindless distractions, we each must realize that by answering that first question, what’s next?, we will be answering a more important question…. What is God’s will for me? In this respect I feel that I can offer you some helpful advice, and a sense of encouraging direction that will ease the transition back into life at home without forcing you to abandon the revelatory fervor God has birthed within each of you over the last eight days.
You found incredible joy and purpose in the Dominican Republic by giving constantly of yourself, some of you to the points of near exhaustion and sickness. You gave because you believed in the purpose which you felt that God had directed you to. Let me assure you, each of you have as clear and constant a God-given purpose on American soil as you did in the Dominican. Guard your hearts against the idle business of purposeless endeavor we often pursue. Set yourself toward some sacrificial end, and until a time which God directs you to it; pray and ask that He would lead you, not only to that end, but would also deliver unto you the means to see it through.
Let us continue to humble ourselves and take up the thankless tasks. There we were often met with fanfare and celebration, here that same heart may be met with indifference or disdain. Let us continue to love unconditionally. There love was almost always reciprocated, here it may be confused, misinterpreted, or ignored. In short, let us continue to love because Christ first loved us. Let us continue to shine, because we have come to know and love the Light, and our world is steeped in darkness.