Transitioning from one’s home country back to the field of service is a major process, and the checklists vary from one missionary to the next. Having just experienced this for the sixth time, here is our checklist for this eventful, exciting, essential experience!
- Pray and Partner with Others in Prayer
As missionaries, we can begin sensing the time frame and items needed for packing when we begin bathing this process in prayer. Sufficient time is required to pack, so it must be part of the initial homeland ministry assignment schedule.
We share updates often on Facebook. Frequent updates help partners pray.
PRAY: Take some time each day to pray for a WGM missionary and for the people’s lives they are touching. Commit to this prayer routine for at least a month.
- Plan and Pack
Listing what needs to be done and when provides much-needed organization. My husband, Ken, is the master organizer and packer. I make my own list of what I need to do before we pack, and then we build the master list together.
I construct a packing list as Ken packs so we know what is in each piece of luggage in case a customs officer may request it.
Carolyn’s Packing Tips: I find it helpful to wrap any liquid in paper towels secured with tape and placed in a reclosable bag. I also put gelatin and pudding in reclosable bags. One experience of having lemon pudding granules penetrating all the items in the box was a valuable learning experience.
ACT: Do you know someone going through a time of transition? Create a plan today to babysit, take them a meal, mow their yard, etc. Do something that will help lift their burden.
The Holy Spirit will remind you about something you need that was not on the “items to purchase” list or to add an item you had not planned on. We praise God for this discernment.
GIVE: Contact the missionary you prayed for in the Pray section and ask them what you can purchase for those they are ministering to.
And at the end of the trip, of course, there is jetlag, but returning to your beloved country of residence where you fulfill God’s calling on your life makes all the praying, planning, and packing worth it.