Not too long after we returned home from our two years in the Philippines, A sweet little old lady at church told me she bet I was just so delighted to be back after the way I’d been living the last two years- and I gasped and gulped as though she'd punched me. I had to blink back tears. I don’t really feel like we truly sacrificed or suffered much beyond missing our family. The heat was sometimes unbearable there, but the cold is that way here, and Indiana summers can be just as muggy. I missed some foods I can’t get there, but I miss some foods I can’t get here. I missed some conveniences there, but I miss other conveniences I don’t have here. I miss my Korean and Pinoy friends. I miss hearing Visaya. I miss experiences, feelings, even smells in a physical way that aches and cannot be fixed. And I couldn’t explain that to her because she was just being kind and she meant the best, and I can't really explain it to anybody who hasn't experienced the beautiful and strange and painful sensation of being a fish out of water in your passport country. And we were only there for two years. If you know any missionaries returning after five years, or a lifetime, be extra kind and sensitive and be extra open to just listening and learning.
It's a unique pain, and we're going to do it to ourselves again. Please pray for us to adjust well, to slip into our work in Malaysia without causing unnecessary offense, to be effective in serving the Lord. Please pray that the pain of not fully belonging whether we are there or here does not hinder our effectiveness for the Lord.
But also remember that we should all have that sense of not belonging. This world is not our home. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come." Hebrews 13:14"