So what about the missionaries who have returned from serving long term overseas? What are good resources for them to financially make their new lives at home back in the U.S. comfortable or even survivable, given the challenges of coming back with little or no financial resources at all? I've been searching the internet but find nothing to help returning missionaries in particular with their finances.
Shannon, every individual and every situation is different. Here are some options I have observed over the years:
- Denomination mission boards usually provide the best care. They pay missionaries a salary from a central fund with donations for their several churches, have contact with all the churches in their denomination, and plan with the missionary what their “furlough year” or transition period will look like.
- Some larger “faith missions” are similar.
- There are “missionary homes” where missionaries can stay for up to a year. The Presbyterians have the furnished House of Rest in Pasadena (consisting of about 8 furnished apartments, and often open them for non Presbyterian missionaries), there are a number of furnished homes in Wheaton, Illinois for missionaries – again a year limit, I think. There are the “D and D Homes” in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Christian Missionary Aliance has missionary furlough homes in Glendale, California. Though these homes charge, the fee is very low. Personnel officers of mission agencies undoubtedly have a list of these opportunities.
Some missionaries stay with relatives, others have churches which maintain apartments for their missionaries, and on it goes. For us, every furlough was different
Your question is a good one, and missionaries needs to talk with the agency under which they go abroad to ask about what options there are.
My experience has been that in amazing and often surprising ways the Lord provides well for His people. However, this does not mean that mission boards and agencies should not be thinking ahead as to what their people will do.
Thanks for asking.