Returning From the Field

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by John of Japan, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    After 33 years in Japan, we are returning to the homeland where I will teach NT, first year Greek, hermeneutics, Baptist history, freshman English etc. in a small Bible college. (PM me if you are curious about where; I won't reveal it on this thread.) We've shipped our stuff, have our itinerary and are flying out Tuesday. God is so wonderfully leading and providing. We already have a car waiting for us, given free by some folk who just bought a new one.

    It's been a long hard road in this Gospel hardened country of Japan, but we praise the Lord for those we've seen saved, those who have grown in grace, and those I've taught in Japanese theological schools. My ex-yakuza gangster friend (told about in a thread here) will meet us at the airport and have lunch--probably the last Japanese friend we'll talk to in this country.

    The great thing is our son the Ph.D. has been hired by the same school. It's been 16 years since we've been able to see much of him, so we are thrilled about that. He'll be teaching Hebrew and other courses, no doubt including seminary Greek and other grad courses.

    So, what advice can you give us? The whole process is extremely difficult. Read what another missionary wrote about returning from the field: http://mafblog.com/leadership/top-3...m=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+mafblog+(MAF+Blog)
     
  2. kyredneck

    kyredneck
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    Wow, 33 years. May be dumb questions (and you need not reply), but:

    Did it go by fast?

    Are you glad to be coming home?
     
  3. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I'll be praying for you John, saw the news earlier.

    The prospect of returning to the States would terrify me. I trust the Lord will ease the transition.
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Nope, not dumb questions. And it didn't really go by fast. It was so packed with new experiences, friends and labor in God's harvest that our minds and hearts are full of those years.
    Overall yes, we're glad to be returning to the homeland. We're delighted to be able to see our son every day and someday play with grandchildren.
    On the other hand, the US has changed so much in the past 33 years that it is daunting. We wonder if we'll fit in. When we left in 1981 "gay marriage" was unthinkable, several wars had not happened yet, 9/11 was just a date on the calendar, we'd never been to a Walmart, there was no Internet, I didn't have a computer, no one in the US ate sushi, etc.
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Thanks, brother. It is certainly daunting, but everyone in the States is being extremely gracious. The college (which you know) has many ties to our board, and the founder and my grandfather were close friends.
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I couldn't win with grandchildren - I have some here and some there :)
     
  7. questdriven

    questdriven
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    I've enjoyed hearing about your mission work. Hope the trip back to the US goes well.
     
  8. Crabtownboy

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    Traveling mercies John.
     
  9. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    John, I didn't know y'all had been there for 33 years!

    I pray that the Holy Spirit will grow all the seed you planted there long after you've left.
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Thanks folks. We leave from Chitose here on Hokkaido for Tokyo. Then it's about a 14 hour trip from Tokyo to Newark. We'll go from there to Patty's sister's place in SC, then to see our son and other loved ones before reaching our destination.
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Thank you! In our last service at the church I pastored, I asked for a show of hands as to who would continue to follow Christ after we left, and all raised their hands, but Mr. Ueno waved both hands! And he's been picking up Mr. Hashiba for church. Hashiba San studied the Bible with me for a year but then quit without claiming Christ, but when Ueno San brought him back to church after another year he gave us a beautiful chopstick set as a going away present. Would that he would soon trust Christ.
     
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Not seeing the grandkids must be the hardest thing about growing older on the field.
     
  13. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Yup, grateful for those who have stayed here.
     
  14. convicted1

    convicted1
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    Praise God for those who came to Christ through your ministerial work. May He continue to bless you back here....
     
  15. Rippon

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    John, a lump in your throat should be forming by now --at least it would in my case. I know some happiness awaits you in the States --but after that long in Japan --whew! Will you make any return visits?

    Is another foreign missionary going to minister in your area? I don't think I heard you mention taking anyone under your wing. If not, will the Japanese folks continue on somehow meeting together and having church?

    There won't be an Ephesian elders scene for you. But I'd like to quote some of what's in Acts 20 maybe it can be said of you:

    Paul said :You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing...You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared...that they must turn to God in repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus...However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me --the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace.

    Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God...I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for [in your case -33]years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

    Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (NIV)
     
  16. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    And are grateful for it! :laugh:

    Welcome home (soon) John. Grateful for your service in the field for the Lord, and pray you find even more and more complex missions fields here at home to keep you busy. God bless and :thumbsup:
     
  17. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Don't know at this point. Not for awhile anyways, since we have a lot to get used to in the States.

    Our board has long had two churches in our town. Our church folk are now going to our sister church. The pastor there is on furlough, and until flying out we're staying with the "furlough replacement" missionary, who happens to be the founding pastor and an old friend.
    Thanks much for the encouraging Scripture.
     
  18. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Thanks, brother!
     
  19. gb93433

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    I have known some children of missionaries who returned to America only to find themselves in a foreign country and returned to the country where they grew up or another country but not the U.S.
     
  20. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I know of several similar cases. Our son had a difficult adjustment period but was able to adapt and stay in the States.

    There are several things a missionary parent can do to help their child prepare for the adjustment.

    (1) Give their MK a skill that can make a place for them in the homeland such as music or a sport. (I trained my son in the martial arts till he was a black belt. He started a martial arts evangelistic team in college and made some friends for life.)

    (2) Plan the adjustment for a long furlough so they can help the young person adjust. This may not be practical for large families.

    (3) Send the MK back to stay with relatives for their senior year of high school.

    (4) Let the MK start college by distance learning to get a head start.

    (5) Let the MK stay on the field with their family a couple of extra years past high school so they can gain a little more maturity before facing the change.
     

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