Home assignments are always an amazing opportunity not only to refresh ties with friends and family, but also to challenge people to get the bigger picture of what God is doing worldwide.
I’m so thankful to my friends who have faithfully supported me and my family as missionaries in Japan for so many years. Many of you who are reading this also support somebody on the field with prayer or with finances. Thank you! It’s because of these partnerships in mission that the Great Commission, which Jesus gave the church, can be fulfilled. We are in this together!
Thinking back to my last short home assignment in Switzerland many good memories come to my mind:
Time spent with churches
One church organized a mission conference in a greenhouse. It was amazing to share about the need for missionaries in Japan, surrounded by plants, fruits, and vegetables.
Another church invited me to their church retreat. There too—lots of wonderful memories of sharing and getting to know each other better.
In one church I was asked to cook a Japanese meal before sharing about our work. In order to make that meal as Japanese as possible I brought five kilos of Japanese rice plus other ingredients in my suitcase from Japan. The pastor couple of that church cooked together with me and we ended up having a wonderful time of sharing and fellowship.
It’s always blessing when churches open time in their busy schedule for us missionaries.
Time spent with friends
One aspect of my home assignments which always surprises me is how much I travel. Switzerland is such a small country. But every time I’m there I spend many hours in the train or car to visit my friends. I always feel the interaction over a meal with a small number of friends is much more rewarding than one big event.
As missionary it’s good to realize that not only do we have things to share, but people back home too are walking with the Lord and have lots of stories to share with us. I often end up listening to the stories of my friends more than talking about Japan. It’s exciting to provide a listening ear for people who love us and support us!
Thank you for all of you who support us in prayer, but also by opening your churches, hearts, and houses when we are at home. It’s because of you that the Lord’s work can be done in the country we serve! I hope that we can keep being a blessing and encouragement to all of you.
By Matthias, an OMF missionary
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray about whether you could join a missionary’s support team: prayer or finance or practical.
- Pray for missionaries preparing for home assignment in the next year.
- Pray for missionaries who are currently on home assignment, but are struggling to get financial support because many meetings have been cancelled due to COVID-19, or who face an uncertain period ahead due to international travel restrictions.