Returning to Australia after six years in Papua New Guinea was hard. You would think my husband, Andrew Schache and I would easily settle back in our own country again. But there’s more to coming home than simply unpacking your bags. We had changed. Our family, church, and even Aussie culture, had changed. We began to discover firsthand what re-entry stress was like.
We believe God gave us this experience so we could readily identify with others in transition. We wanted to help those struggling with settling back into life in Australia. So we joined Missions Interlink Queensland (MIQ).
Missions Interlink is the Australian network for global mission. It plays the important role of linking, equipping, serving and representing organisations and churches as they engage in effective cross-cultural and global mission.
In Queensland, MIQ runs training workshops on a range of topics, including preparing for short-term mission experiences, understanding the re-entry and transition process, effectively supporting and caring for missionaries, and the important skill of debriefing returning cross-cultural workers.
We recently held a Re-entry Day which brought together 20 participants and a diverse group of presenters from various mission organisations and professional backgrounds. Understanding that re-entry is a normal, if often challenging, process proved encouraging for many.
Working cross culturally is such a rich experience.
God has blessed us with so many wonderful memories and deep friendships.
And meeting others who have been in the same boat makes coming home easier, purposeful and rewarding.
How about you? If you have struggled with adjusting after serving overseas, have a look at the MIQ website and find an event which may help you.
For more information, visit missionsinterlink.org.au or search MIQLD on Facebook.