Most missionaries spend time back in their home country for a period of time every three or four years. This time period is known by various names, such as furlough, deputation or itineration. In our mission, it is called HMA, or Home Ministry Assignment. I like that description. We are doing ministry in the churches.
We see our support raising as relationship building. That is why we prefer to go as a family, when we are able to. We like to develop these relationships as deeply as we can in the very short time we usually have with any given church, family or individual. We see it as a ministry, to allow churches in the US to be enriched as their vision of what God is doing in the world expands. We long to see the church in America filled with a zeal and passion for the work of the Lord. We long to see religion that goes deep, transforming lives of believers. We long to see ordinary Christians willing to take risks to follow Christ in their day to day lives, as they stay at home. We hope that as we bring our message, it will help to breathe new life into the believers that we talk to.
This relationship with our supporters is a vital partnership that gives us the prayer back up and financial resources we need to do our ministry. There is a fierce spiritual battle on the mission field, as Satan does not want to lose ground. It is no lie to say we could not be doing what we are doing without the prayers of so many saints, not to mention the finances. And as we enter into relationship with our supporters, we are often blessed beyond belief with the Godly people we meet. We find generous and hospitable hearts ready to open up their homes, their churches and their lives to our family. While we hope we minister to those in the churches, we know that the people in the churches are always ministering to us. I won’t lie, our first term on the foreign mission field was very hard. The prayers, encouragement and love from the church members back home were truly irreplaceable and a life line to us. So as hard as the travel can be, we are so thankful to have the opportunity to build the relationship with our prayer and financial partners back home in the US while on Home Ministry Assignment.