Do you miss home?

“Do you miss home?” I think that’s the number one question asked to missionaries around Christmas time. It takes too much time to explain, so most of the time, I just respond that I miss it a bit (But if I were to answer I would say something like: “Well, I do, but the floating home, not the one in Taiwan. Christmas is not the time for family in that part of the world. Ask me again around Chinese New Year.”).

“Do you miss home?” is a question asked with the assumption that there is only one home. However, most of the time, this is not the case for long-term missionaries. We have quite a mixed identity. 

For me missing home means…

…missing eating a lot on a roundtable with family dressed up in red

…missing worshipping with 60 different nationalities in a prayer meeting

…missing looking at the sea while sailing

…missing watching a new Pixar movie with my Dad

…missing SEAFOOD

…missing acapella-style African worship with harmonies and dance moves that I can not do

…missing video games with my brother

…missing interchanging between English and Chinese in one sentence with an overseas Chinese fellowship

…missing Japanese animation 

…missing window shopping in air-conditioned stores with my Mom

…missing the pride of successfully making a meal that I didn’t have the right ingredients for

…missing random German words

…missing opportunities to share about Jesus

…missing swimming at the Lake

The list goes on and it will continue to change. As you can see, the list of what makes me miss home is from my different homes. This is the beauty and the tragedy of being a missionary in a foreign land. We are connected to many places deeply but belong to nowhere fully. I will miss home wherever I go and I will create a new home wherever I move. I am adopting cultures and creating a third culture of my own. 

One of my best friends on the ship is a missionary kid. As a third culture kid, she has mixed cultural worldviews and considers two countries as her home. She told me that it’s not easy to be in between, and it took a long time for her to adjust when she stayed in different homes. However, she realises she has had a great privilege; she truly understands that her ultimate home is not on this earth. 

“People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them.” — Hebrews 11:14-16 (The Message)

Missing home is normal, but remember that our ultimate, true home is above. That is the one we should really miss, the home where the Kingdom culture will fully carry out. Do I miss home on this holiday? Yes, I do––and not just during the holiday. I will miss my true home until the day when my family in Christ will be all united to attend the big banquet with our Master. 

Afternote: The same week when I was writing this article, I got stuck in a city in the middle of the night due to the public bus breaking down. The OMer in the city immediately came to rescue and gave me a bed with the mosquito net hanging perfectly. I even woke up with hot water for bath and well-prepared breakfast. They quickly made me feel home. Home is where family is and I am glad that as a missionary (and Christian), I have a very large family in Christ.

Ivy, previously a city girl rushing into the Taipei metro everyday, now enjoys walking around beautiful villages at Lake Tanganyika, Zambia. She likes to listen to people's stories and write newsletters (really a rare species). Her dream is to become the shortest giant in the world. 

Share this Resource

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Reply

You might also like:

Community Missionary – Lake Tanganyika Zambia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleMissionaries live in lakeshore villages modeling a Biblical Lifestyle for a people living in bondage to poverty and witchcraft beliefs.
Full Details
Hope On The Streets For Children Trainer Zambia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you have a heart for hurting children? Hope on the Streets for Children (HSC) trains people to understand and be empowered to help street and vulnerable children. HSC is looking for people to train and facilitate others who will establish projects to help children leave the streets and prevent others from living on the streets. We mobilize the church to do this.
Full Details
Journalist Zambia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAs a journalist with OM, you would serve OM offices around the world by writing stories for the purposes of advocacy, recruiting, financial development, education, awareness and prayer. The position involves producing insightful and engaging content of ministry, culture and people that will be used in print and online publications. The writer will accurately and creatively document how God is working through OM, while encouraging audience engagement with OM through praying for, giving to, or joining missions. OM journalists share stories of God’s work through OM that align with OM’s writing guidelines in a culturally sensitive way. Additionally, participation in local ministry and team life may also be aspects of your role.
Full Details
HSC- trainer, Administration Zambia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleHSC stands for “Hope On the street For Children”.OM Zambia is one of the largest fields in the OM world, we need to strengthen our core support service functions to allow Missionaries on the ground to share the gospel. You will join an HSC team to become part of the training group of missionaries.
Full Details
Support Services Leader – Lake Tanganyika Zambia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleTo oversee and assist with  all of the support services of the field, communication, finance, personnel, IT, transport, administration etc.
Full Details
Area Short-Term Outreaches Coordinator – Africa Area Zimbabwe    Go & Live    As soon as possibleMany people from all around the world want to come and experience 'the real Africa'. We are looking for someone to oversee Short-term Outreaches in the Africa Area.
Full Details
Finance Manager Zambia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleUse your financial management skills toward the purpose of seeing vibrant communities of Jesus followers established among the least reached. This important role is vital to ministry on the field. You would provide accountability for the cash transactions conducted on the field and perform duties to assist with accounting functions pertaining to bank accounts, budgets, journal entries, financial reporting and administrative changes, guided by precedent and guidelines of established policies.
Full Details
R4TW Global Events Champion Zambia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleRun for the World (R4TW), is an open-source global sports event - 1 day, 24 timezones, 40,000KM. It is a God-given opportunity to use sport to transform the lives of young people locally and globally. We need a Global Events Champion to develop the R4TW event and models across the OM world, and build a team for R4TW globally. If you have skills in event planning, networking and organization, this could be your dream job.
Full Details
Finance Officer Zambia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleFinance, accountancy, administration, stewardship, training

1. Good IT skills, proficient in MS Office and used to using an accountancy package
2. Valid driving License
3. Good communicator and flexibility to work in a cross-cultural team
4. 3+ years’ experience in an
accountancy /finance role

5. Qualifications in a mathematical based subject and /or an Accountancy qualification

Full Details
Woman Self Help Approach Coordinator Zambia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you have heart to see women holistically empowered and living for Jesus?  Are you experienced in community development?  We are looking for someone to join the Women’s Empowerment Africa team, coordinating the growth of Self Help Groups in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Full Details
Assistant site Manager Zambia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleThis position is much to do with craft work, working with a Maintenance Team of OMZ so that the buildings/properties can be kept up to good standard.
Full Details
Personal Assistant To Africa Area Leader Zambia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you know how to MAKE IT HAPPEN?!

Are you the person who catches someone's vision and knows how to put it into practice? 
A busy leader in the Africa Area needs a P.A. to work along side him and take his Visions and help logistically move them into reality.
Possible travel opportunities around Africa

Full Details