20 April, 2010

Are you looking forward to returning to Japan?

Another question. One that occurs at the opposite end of home assignment to the, "You must be happy to be back in Australia." But is equally difficult to answer.

Am I looking forward to returning to Japan?

Yes and No.

Australia is generally more comfortable - English everywhere, I understand the culture (mostly), I have lots of friends, family is here, my timetable is more flexible when we're on home assignment (David doesn't have to be at school every day), we have a largish house and more privacy.

And of course I miss these things while living in Japan, so I enjoy the time we spend living in Australia. In that sense, No, I don't look forward to returning to Japan.

These are the things that it are easy to explain to an Australian but answering the question in the affirmative is harder. Because our questioner has usually never lived in Japan. And is generally sure that they could never live overseas themselves, let alone be a missionary. 

Japan is where we are quite settled. Our lives are more routine (home assignment is a very non-routine - lots of different churches, for example). We have a whole household of goods and furniture in Japan (some of which we miss, like our chest freezer, food processor and Lego). In Australia we only have half a household of goods and furniture, the rest is borrowed or given. There is a real sense of temporariness here in Australia: because we're only here for a short while we don't allow ourselves to settle too much. Japan is where we've spent most of the last 10 years of our lives. We miss friends who live in Japan (Japanese and expats). We miss places, food and experiences too.

And this is the biggest, but hardest to explain: Japan is where we feel God has called us and therefore we feel like we are in the right place doing the right thing - which leads to a sense of peace. Peace that pervades our lives despite the other inconveniences or discomforts we endure.

So, there are mixed feelings. This post back in February touched on that. The answer truly is "Yes and No."

Do I make any sense to you? Because I'm not always sure I make sense when I answer this question out aloud and on short notice.

1 comment:

KKCambLogos said...

Makes perfect sense - at least to another Aussie living overseas.