Survival tips for dealing with a “Returning Medium-Term Missionary” (RMTM) who might seem a bit weird.

1. Your well-intentioned questions are appreciated, but may not always have an answer.  Not having an answer, not least an answer that fits into a five-minute conversation is unsettling and what with points 1 and 2 in yesterday’s post about the RMTM, who knows what sort of reaction you’ll get!  Patience is a virtue… for all of us.

2. Unusual life circumstances and experiences may seem exciting in relation to what you see as ‘humdrum’ home life, but on the other side of things your home and routine could be a balm of healing during an unsettled, uncertain time for an RMTM.  Don’t feel like you need to offer intense catch-up chats about the “excitements of the mission field” in order to show you care – share your life and the stories will come out in time.  Its possible that for both parties a take-away in front of the telly and the immense pile of ironing might be better than a sit-down meal with linen napkins.

3. Be ready to share your stories too.  If ‘normalcy’ really exists, then it exists in what each of us live day to day – the RMTM’s reality is not the only one to have continued in their absence.  It’ll do all parties good to remember that as they seek to embrace this new reality of ‘normal’ life.

Colossians 3:12-14

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

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