Transition is hard, but with a family of four…it’s a whirlwind of emotions.
At the time, leaving Africa for the United states felt like the right step for what is next for our family. We excitedly boarded the plane in anticipation of being reunited with our families, diverse food, and good craft beer (A favorite of mine.) Because of this I think we underplayed how rapid change in culture and accessibility to virtually everything would affect us. In previous times, before airlines flew to every end of the earth, missionaries, military, and all travelers would have weeks or months on a ship to unpack and process how their lives had changed. Now we are just one, albeit long, flight from a whole new world. This rapid switching of cultures leaves marks.
If I am to be honest though, it has not been a drastic, overwhelming experience which has seen us circling the proverbial wagons in anticipation of a cultural enemy attack, one which sends us cowering under the bedsheets. However, we find the discomfort in the quiet and the slowness (whenever we can find that slowness). Just before my youngest daughter drifts of to sleep at night she looks at me with those ocean blue eyes and asks “when are we going back to Mozambique.” We lament the passing of that period in our lives together and deep inside, I feel a woundedness as I too walk beside my broken-hearted four year old who remembers nothing of her life before living in Africa. More laughably, it also appears when I remember it is ok to be outside after dark as no malaria infected mosquitos are threatening out lives or, when I find myself driving on an isolated street and for just a brief moment forget what side of the road I am suppose to be on.
In crowds of people, with our to-do list miles long we can easily suppress this feeling of upside downness. Even if that is not the best practice. Through the holidays we were able to easily shift our focus off of transition and into a joyous season of celebration with family. However as we embrace the next chapters 2019 opens, we must and will face the reality of a moving from Mozambique to Arkansas and how culture shock looms as hidden monster in the closet.
Mozambique will forever hold a special place in our hearts. Despite the obstacles and challenges we faced, we are stronger from our experiences there. Stronger in our faith, stronger as a family, and stronger as individuals. We found deep love and appreciation for people and God’s creation, but we also understood it was time for us to return. We strive to listen to God’s call, discern it’s meaning, and follow as Christ leads. For some missionaries this may look like 30 years at one place, but for us, as we can foresee, our call is a bit more fluid. In reflection of our time until now and how God has called us into ministry one thing remains true…a constant change. We are in perpetual Motion. As our family grows (in age) and our society’s lens on Christianity evolves, we long to be present in that movement to serve as we can for as long as we can.
Which brings us to this post. The next chapter of our lives opened on December 1, 2018 as we started or new job responsibilities as Mission Advocates. This is what has brought us back to the United States and this is what we are excited about. A chance to continue God’s call as we connect churches, conferences, and retreats with the Holy Spirit though mission and mission support. However, now all our McCormicks in Africa contact information (i.e. website, social media, mail outs, etc) is a bit misleading.
As change and motion are constant in our lives and those of so many, we thought it best to not fight it any longer. We have embraced this motion and fluidity as called by God and will fit it here, into our new website McCormicksinMotion.com. This will be a place to share life. Sharing through stories and recipes, a space to hold religious conversations, experience healthy living ideas and be a flowy functional group of Christ loving missionaries (all of us, formally named or casually conceded). So join us, share info, give us feedbacks and comments, pray for us and for each other, but above all stay in motion!
David is a Global Ministries Missionary with the United Methodist Church. He loves to travel, being outdoors, a cold beer, and a good cup of coffee! All these best shared with his family!