Posted by: grantmiho | May 29, 2017

Heading Home? (Where’s Home?)

Switchfoot, “This Is Home” lyrics:

I’ve got my memories
Always inside of me
But I can’t go back
Back to how it was

This is home
Now I’m finally back to where I belong

I remember this song being used as our home church sent off a new church plant. It was so powerful and emotional. God was calling them to leave “home” and step out to create a new home.

In just two weeks, our family will be returning “home” for a six-month Home Assignment (furlough). But, even going back “home” is not really home, as we will be based in Boston, not in Des Moines with my family. Moving around so much, people might ask us where is home, or where we are from. I can talk about where we recently lived, or where we grew up, which are different answers.

But, the idea of “home” is tricky for missionaries. Our girls have only studied at Japanese schools, so the idea of going to an American school in English is completely foreign and frightening. Though we are heading back for “Home Assignment,” we are leaving “home.” This past Sunday, we celebrated my birthday with around twenty people from our church. This is my family and friends. It is sad to leave them for a short period. Tokyo is our city. Tokyo Life Church feels like home. It is bittersweet to be away from our community.

At the same time, we truly do cherish the time we get to be with family, friends, and dear supporters. I’ve had to correct myself years ago when we talked about “having” to go back to America or travel. While it has various challenges, we “get” to travel and be around people we deeply love. One of our members asked us recently what we are looking forward to during these six months. Though Tokyo is our home, we love so many things about being back in America. Family and friends being at the top. Somebody else asked if this is a Sabbatical. Six-month vacation sounds nice. Only, not so much. There will be moments of rest, play, and study. Yet, we don’t anticipate unplugging and recharging too much. Nearly every week will be visiting a different supporting church. Traveling across a dozen states and three countries. Adjusting our girls to their first American school experience.

The journey is about to begin! June 16th. We are excited about this next season of life. Reconnecting with people. Speaking at supporting churches. Making memories. But, it is not exactly going “home.”

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