After your person has been in their ministry location for a while, they will likely spend a season of time back in their home culture (stateside). Stateside time is an extended time away from the ministry location to rest and be renewed in order to return to ministry healthy and rejuvenated. This season usually occurs in your person’s passport country and can consist of various things depending on what your person feels they need to best return to their new home and continue in ministry effectively.
What does this season look like?
- Returning to their passport country for an extended season (usually at least one month minimum)
- Receiving counseling or a formal debrief of their time so far in their new location
- Raising any additional support needed
- Connecting with existing supporters
- Sharing ministry updates with small groups and churches
- Specified time to rest and spend time with family and friends
What are common emotions of this season?
During this season, it is common to feel a range of emotions. These emotions can often feel in contrast to one another and your person may be feeling some or all of these emotions at the same time.
- They are hopeful that they will experience refreshment, connection, and get to eat favorite foods. 😉
- Church services are different (generally more overwhelming) in the states.
- There are a lot of people they want to see and things to do, but not much time.
- REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK (“Fish out of water”)
- Living overseas has changed them, things back “home” have changed. This often is unsettling emotionally and usually means an unforeseen adjustment in relationships and expectations.
- It is expected to experience culture shock when moving, not so much in returning “home”.
- There is often a different pace or rhythm of life overseas. Adjusting to the new pace, support raising, connecting with ministry partners and family in a short time takes a lot of energy.
Thoughts from our staff:
How can I pray during this season?
- Pray they will feel rested and rejuvenated during this time
- Pray they will protect time to meet with God, get counseling, etc. in the midst of meeting with churches, supporters, friends, and family
- Pray they will raise any necessary funds
- Pray for encouraging conversations with churches, supporters, friends, and family
How else can I offer support?
- Schedule time to talk specifically with your person about their experiences
- Help find and/or provide a place for them to stay for an extended time
- Help find and/or provide a vehicle for them use during this time
- Organize a gathering for their supporters to hear about their ministry
- Invite them to speak at your small group or church
- Encourage them to rest. Time stateside can often be exhausting because of the need to visit friends, family, supporters, churches, as well as catch up on doctor’s appointments, recover from jet lag, raise support, attend a training or debrief, etc.
- *Refer to the Support Raising season for more ideas
- ASK. Give them some idea of what you are offering. Is it a gift card? Is it a car to use? It is helpful to know what the parameters are. Global workers do not want to abuse your offer, and they have genuine needs, but it can be hard to communicate those needs if they are unsure of your limits.
Helpful truths and Scripture for this season:
*Reminding your person of God’s truth and promises is the best way to support and care for your person. As you pray and listen to them, ask God for His words to share with them. These are some helpful places to start.
- “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” —Matthew 11:28
- “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” —John 15:5
- “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” —Psalm 46:10