I just returned home for two weeks working with missionaries in Africa. There are four families and a single intern who are serving in this area. One of the things that stood out to me during my visit is how these missionaries have bonded together as a family. They have done several things to create a family atmosphere that could be adapted anywhere to develop family ties when family is far away.
They worship together weekly. Each Tuesday they eat a meal together and listen to a podcast and music as they worship. They laughed saying none of them are musically inclined, but they sing to a worship CD and choose a podcast of a pastor/teacher they enjoy.
They play together. They choose outings that the group would enjoy. Recently they climbed to the top of Execution Rock, one of the highest points in their country. They laughed a lot and enjoyed the exercise.
They celebrate together. Because they are far from home they still celebrate American holidays together. They had just finished their Easter celebration when we arrived. They also celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks, have a harvest festival in October and dress up, and they celebrate with a pool party in December for Christmas. J
They pray together. Times are often difficult where these missionary friends serve. Prayer has been a lifeline for each of them.
They do ministry together. I am sure you would think this would be a given for missionaries, but that is not true. Many missionaries find themselves feeling very alone when it comes to ministry because there is so much to do and so few to do it. As this team ministered together they found strength as a unit.
You may not be serving on a mission field, but you may be away from family and friends. Don’t delay. Find your new “family” right where you are. Look for them at a coffee shop, a worship center, or where you are working. Look around for others who may feel out of place. Invite them to your house. Create your own community of faith. It all starts with a desire and a willingness to get out of your comfort zone to invite others to do life with you.