#010: How to Prepare for the Return of Your Missionary

In this solo episode with Nikki, she will be talking to the family and friends awaiting the return of their missionary! She will answer the questions you may be asking,

  • "Will they be different?"
  • "Will we be able to have the same relationship we had before they left?"
  • “How should I engage in conversation with them?” “
  • "What should I expect?”

 

Host: Nikki Romani

Here is a summary of the main takeaways from today’s episode:

“Will they be different?” 

Yes, they will be different, but so are you! You have continued on with life. Maybe no significant events occurred while you were a part, but with each new day comes new challenges to face, new struggles, new celebrations. Maybe in fact you did have a huge life altering event such as getting married, having a baby, moving, or something more serious like getting an illness or disease. Something to remember though, is that both of you are the same down to your core.

"Will we be able to have the same relationship we had before they left?" 

Maybe. With my family, much was the same, but we had all grown up a bit. We had much to catch up on!

Suggestion:

I told the girls I babysit to pick a number between 1-11 and whatever number they choose, that’s the month I tell a story from. You and your loved one can do the same! But not just having the missionary share a story, you share one as well from that month!

I have to be honest, there are some friends that I had a relationship with before the race and once I returned our friendship faded.

But there are friendships I had before the race that grew stronger while we were a part and continue to grow deeper each day even now.

"How should I engage in conversation with them?"

  • Be yourself!
  • Ask specific questions such as
    • How did God show up?
    • What did you learn about yourself?
    • What gifts and talents did you discover about yourself? Passions?
    • What kind of people did you meet and interact with?
    • How can I help you during this process? (for this one they may not know, but as long as you ask so they know you are available!)
    • Is there a country that stood out to you the most that you would love to visit again one day? If so, which country and why?

A key thing to keep in mind upon the arrival of your missionary is to keep an open mind.

Allow space for them to share their experiences from the physical to the spiritual. You may believe the same things they do, or you may not. That’s ok! But sit with them and listen to what they want to share with you. And they should do the same for you! They should have an open mind with what you have experienced and believe.

"What should I expect?"

A person going through re-entry may experience things such as:

  • Pulled out of a situation that became their “normal” and placed into an old but new situation
  • Returns to where they once were before they left; it looks the same but feels different.
  • They are a different person, they have changed, and yet so have you as the supportive person.
  • People around them have continued life without them and now they feel out of place and unwanted.
  • Feel as though what they had just experienced was a dream
  • Had a sense of purpose and now do not know what to do
  • Someone told them what to do, where to go, made their travel plans and now they feel unable to make certain decisions on their own.
  • Went from constantly being around people to being alone
    • May feel a sense of relief at first but feeling fades
  • May feel as though no one understands them, but this is why they need you!

At the end of the day, enjoy and celebrate the homecoming of your loved one from the mission field. They are the same person with added experiences and traits! They are looking forward to seeing you as well, I just know it! Spend time together and talk. Share about each other’s lives for the past number of days or months you were apart. This is a precious time. Treasure it.

For more information on this topic, the M2B team is in the processing of putting together training videos for you! So keep a look out for those on our website. If you want to stay updated on when those will be released, sign up for our newsletter to get the inside scoop at m2bministries.org

Share this episode with other family members or friends of your missionary returning home if you feel it will help them prepare!

 

 

Have any questions? Feel free to leave a comment below!

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