Since joining MAF we have learned that a missionary’s life is one of constant transition. Initially, we thought it was a transition from one career to another and from one country to another. But that was just the beginning. We transitioned from training to fundraising. Then we moved from the United States to Africa and began language learning and transitioned into a new culture. Then we moved into operations and learned our new roles within our program here. Now, three and half years later, we are transitioning again. In two months we go on our first furlough in which we return to the U.S. for about six months.
Over the last three years I have learned that we did not simply transition from one culture to another, but rather have learned to live in three different worlds simultaneously. First, we live in Mozambique, and although we will never blend in, we must be a part of the culture if we are to thrive. Every day is a learning experience, whether it is a new word in a foreign language or a new process to get something done. Second, we are a part of the expat community, a group that understands the struggles of living in a foreign land. We come from different countries and cultures but our shared lifestyle makes us like family. And third, thanks to the internet, we are able to stay connected to family and friends back in the States. We have missed important things like weddings, births, and deaths but we have cherished phone calls and pictures that have kept us in the loop.
As I look forward to heading back to the States, I find myself confused as to where to call “home.” Are we leaving home, returning home, or a bit of both? As Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” I look forward to our next season (or the next transition) and what God might bring into our lives.