Charity Rishel is a grown-up MK who spent her formative years on the field of Sao Paulo, Brazil with her church-planting-missionary parents and large, loving family. She found her husband at the OG Summit, and the two were married and hit the road together raising support for their field of Burkina Faso, West Africa not too long after!
If you think that’s sweet, read on about what she says about her return to America… Keep in mind that, at the time of settling in, her passport country felt as foreign to her as going overseas would to many others. I can say with confidence that she is a beautiful godly woman who is loved and respected in both places.
“I had to realize that God was with me wherever I went. When we moved back to the US permanently there were some major complications (airlines and paperwork) which led to me returning ALONE two weeks before anyone else. I was grieving over having left my home and friends, and it was during that time that I felt God’s presence unlike I ever had before. It was the first time I remember thinking, ‘He understands! He is the ONLY ONE that truly understands me right now!’ It drew me closer to him.”
I also had to realize that we are called to love people. All people. Including Americans. I was so in love with the country where we served as missionaries that it was difficult not to resent Americans. Missionary children learn at a young age to love the nationals, to be kind towards them, and to integrate into their culture, but I had to learn to have the same perspective towards Americans.”
As missionaries, have the unique privilege of seeing life from two completely different perspectives and raising flexible and resilient children in an ever changing world. Let us not forget that as we try to help them “fit in” wherever they go, that a sold out child of God will always feel somewhat out of place in this present world. However, when we gather around brothers and sisters in Christ in any given culture, whether we look alike or not, we can truly belong.