Long for Community & Purpose?

Intermissionary - Community

I talk a lot lately with people who have left global service and are back, living in the nation listed on their passport. ⠀

Often, they say something like this:⠀

"I'm lonely. I miss my community and I miss who I was there."⠀

This is hard territory. ⠀

I think my friends who have come "home" after serving overseas are simmering in something that would be quite hot for many of us, if we were still long enough to observe and admit it.⠀


When you've spent time living in super tight quarters with other missionaries or eating with large, extended families in spaces smaller than your childhood bedroom, you know how complicated but ultimately satisfying life in community is. ⠀


We are working to gather tight little groups of people, in all their dysfunctional glory, so they can figure out, often and together, who God is and who they are in Him, and what they might do next.⠀

Western culture is not good at this. We prefer a private, stiff upper lip approach to life. When people ask how we are, we say, "busy." ⠀

That's not without merit, but it can be lonely. Missionaries and other global nomads know, that's not really how the rest of the world does it. ⠀

Many years ago, in Nepal, I happened upon a Sunday picnic in a park. A family, enjoying a small lunch together, said hello to me and implored me to stay and eat with them. So I did. They sent their young son off to buy a dreadfully expensive liter of Coca Cola for me, their guest, because that's what Americans like. It remains one of my best memories of Nepal. ⠀

This spirit can be replicated and I believe it's not hard, but it requires that we have the courage to say hello and start something. Then keep at it. Together.⠀

This is the heart of Intermissionary.