Re-Entry

Re-Entry

Posted on 06. Apr, 2010 by in Missions

Last Easter, we were blogging about receiving our visas, packing up our stuff for storage, reading books about Thailand, and saying goodbyes to our family.  And now we are already on the other side of our year in Thailand.  It’s amazing how quickly the time has gone!

Now we’re busy making preparations for our return to the States: packing again, getting rid of household stuff, figuring out insurance stuff, job hunting, saying goodbyes, etc.  But besides all those details, we’re also trying to get mentally prepared for the transition home.

51tp5e1a4slWe’ve been reading through the book Re-Entry by Peter Jordan.  It’s all about the process of re-adjusting after time on the mission field.  Even those who go on a very short-term trip would benefit from this book.  Basically it examines and shines light on what returning missionaries expect when they return, and what they actually experience.  Remembering previous mission trips, I can tell the truth of what he points out in the book and try to prepare my mind and heart for that this time around.

While we are very, very excited to see friends and family again, the truth of the matter is that they’ve been going on with life while we’ve been gone and things have changed since we were there.  Kids have grown (my sister just wrote that our little brother has passed her up in height now!), people have had babies, jobs have changed, relationships have changed, family has moved to new houses, etc.  While we’ve heard about changes, not being there to experience them could make it a shock to our system when we witness them for ourselves.

Little kids change the most

Little kids change the most

And we have changed, too.  It’s hard to tell exactly how, but we’ve adapted to life here, so that means we’ve had to change.  All that we’ve seen and experienced us has affected our point-of-view.  Any of you who have traveled to a developing country have probably experienced the confusing feeling when you go from seeing so much poverty to life in America.  Plus, sticker-shock, the weather, everyone understanding English, cultural differences, driving a car, etc, etc.  A lot to readjust to.

So just like we had (and sometimes still have) culture stress moving here, we will face a certain amount of “re-entry stress” upon our return:

Re-entry stress can take the form of feeling disorientated and out of place; feeling disillusioned; feeling irritated with others and with certain aspects of your culture; or feeling lonely, isolated, depressed, and misunderstood.” -Peter Jordan, Re-Entry p.53

Again, we’re looking forward to being home, but we’re trying to be ready for the negative emotions along with the positive.  So, if we seem a little out of it at first, don’t be offended.  We’re just relearning who we are in America. :)  I wonder if Dorothy went through that when she got back to Kansas?

Now if only we could get there by clicking our heels together instead of hours in a plane… 😉

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3 Responses to “Re-Entry”

  1. tom hinton

    06. Apr, 2010

    Love you guys. I am here for you on this end. I mean that. I will process with you as needed. You guys will do great. Your touch with reality is half the battle.

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  2. Cherith

    06. Apr, 2010

    If you guys need anything let us know!!!! Sage is excited to meet you guys for the first time too!!!! She’s such a good baby! Maybe even Jason will hold her!!!! lol… Also, we always have a spare bedroom :) I know it’s not ideal, but you are always welcome here! We love you both so much. Come home to us safely!

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  3. Aunt Rosemary

    06. Apr, 2010

    Re-entry….One day at a time…..lifting all aspects (the excellent & the difficult) up to God. Be ready for the entire range of emotions & feelings as well as moments when you’ll wish you were back in Thailand. Trust God to strengthen you day by day.

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