I just read an interesting post from a missionary here in Thailand. Gleanings from the Field has accurately described the in-between life of the missionary; ours included.
“Your “home” country doesn’t quite feel like home anymore. When you “go home”, some of the same people and places are there, but life has moved on in your absence. When you show up for the so-called “home assignment” or “furlough,” you can not just pick up where you left off. You are a visitor. An outsider. A guest without a permanent role. Your close friends have made new close friends. Half the people in your home church only know you as a line item on list of prayer requests. Some new technology, slang, or cultural trend has become common place… expect for you because you missed it when it first came out.” ( Karl Dahlfred, Gleanings from the Field)
A site for women living cross-cultually picks up this theme in story form. “I am a triangle” by Deb Smith, provides an explanation of this phenomenon, which is quite helpful especially for those who have never lived cross-culturally.
As you pray for us and any number of missionaries you and your church support, please keep in mind the weight we bear of living in the cracks. It may well affect the way you pray and think about ‘your missionary’ and how they view home.