For no reason but that it made me chuckle, I scheduled this post for today – our big international moving day. I am probably currently on an airplane or chasing a toddler around an airport somewhere!
My husband and I have done “re-entry” once before, when we transitioned from Peru to the USA in a serious medical emergency, a long time before we ever thought we’d be back. So I didn’t have time to read this book immediately surrounding that time; however, I read it a few years ago and it was still very informative. I appreciated it and always made a note to suggest it to others, no matter how out-of-date certain sections were (the copy I read was written over 20 years ago and just references funny bits of “old” technology and things like that).
The book itself is written in a strangely large font, making it more difficult to read, but grammar and punctuation were accurate which is always nice!
This is an essential read for any short- or long-term Christian worker headed back to the USA from overseas (or another culture, in the case of Mexico & Canada!). It’s quick, it’s short and it’s an easy read.
The re-entry for a missionary is hard, no matter how great you think someone’s handling it. There are a lot of issues and oftentimes it’s not something others can understand. This is when it’s very important to be closer to God than ever.
Honestly, there weren’t a lot of “ah ha” moments for me (which could be related to my high level of reading and learning on a general front), but it was reassuring seeing all our emotions, thoughts and changes described to a T on paper. Of course we knew there were others out there – we didn’t feel alone, per se, but to read about it in an organized fashion with great clarity and suggestions for coping/adjusting…well, it was just quite good for my husband and me.
Not only do missionaries returning need to read this (before leaving the field, ideally), but if local Stateside church members, local leadership and family members did, these transitions would be so much smoother for all parties.
Fortunately, I’m glad to report that a lot of the pitfalls the book warns against were things we personally avoided – partially because we were still full-time missionaries (serving the same organization from Oregon instead of Peru while my husband recovered) and partially because we had become so involved in our local church.
If you are a Christian worker who’s already returned to the States, I still recommend reading it – like I said, it’s to-the-point and simple to read. You could probably find a nugget to encourage you.
Of course, considering its simplicity, the book didn’t cover every single possible scenario (what book could?). Keep that in mind when you start it. It covers most of the big stuff to help you (or someone you know) transition back to their home culture from their assigned country.
I’m planning on getting it out of a box (or suitcase – not sure where it is at the moment!) pretty soon after landing to help my family’s transition once again.
Have you read this? Did you think of it as positively as I did? Did it help you?