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Caring for missionaries on Home Assignment

What is Home Assignment?

Most missionaries spend about three years in their location followed by six months in Australia. It’s a time for refreshment but it can also be demanding as missionaries re–adjust to Australian culture, follow an irregular routine and travel long distances.

CMS dinners are a great way of catching up with your link missionary
CMS dinners are a great way of catching up with your link missionary

What can you do to help?

1. Help them to settle in
Coming back to Australia can be a bit of a culture shock.

  • Help set up their house

Arrange a welcome home box of basics for the pantry and help to set up their home with furniture. As Frances Boland put it, “When I arrived back, I felt rather like a fish out of water—cards, phone calls and gift baskets of basic household supplies for the first few days helped tremendously!”

  • Lend them a car

Steve and Narelle Etherington said, “Supporters have arranged for us to have long–term loans of vehicles, without which deputation would have been very limited!”

  • Help settle their kids

Ask your link missionary if they need any help settling their children into the local schools and culture.

2. Pray
Pray that missionaries will:

  • Adjust
  • Have opportunities to share about their ministry
  • Enjoy times with families and friends
  • Have stability in family life despite their changing program
  • Be refreshed

3. Help missionaries to feel at home

  • Visit them

Invite them to join a home group or ask their kids to join Sunday school or youth group.

  • Offer a holiday house

Perhaps you know someone who has a holiday house so your link missionaries can get away for a break at a reasonable cost.

  • Lend a hand

Think of the things you struggle with during busy periods. Dave and Leoni Painter loved having some meals provided during weeks with heavy deputation loads.

  • Treat them

Helen Hoskins appreciated a book of vouchers for kindnesses such as driving her to a deputation meeting, taking her to a concert, and coming around for coffee. Why not shout your link missionaries a family dinner at a local restaurant, hire them some videos, take them to the movies or invite them on a picnic?

4. Make the most of their visit to your church
Arrange for your link missionary to spend a week visiting your church, sharing about their ministry in a variety of meetings. Ask your link missionary for ideas.

  • Advertise

Ask your pastor/service leader if you can do a quick skit or quiz on the country of your missionary the week before their visit to your church.

  • Cultural Evenings

Organise a cultural night with food, local customs and items that teach how local culture impacts on your missionary’s life and ministry.

  • Church services

They may preach, speak about their ministry or be interviewed in church meetings. An informal meeting after church can be a good way of finding out more about them.

  • Small groups

Small groups allow a missionary to share at a deeper level.

  • Youth groups
  • Parish Weekend Away

Invite your link missionary to attend the church’s weekend away—not necessarily as a speaker. This is a great opportunity for building relationships.

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