1. People in the USA have very little interest in the Portuguese word for something or expression for something or the Brazilian way of doing things. Avoid starting sentences with, “The way the Brazilians handle this…” or “The way we did this in Brazil…”
2. People will regard you as an expert in missions, even in cultures that you don’t know much about. Conversely, many American pastors who have spent more than a week overseas think they know much more about cross cultural ministry than they actually do.
3. You have a unique experience to shepherd people who are considering missions. Analyze the qualities of the good and weak personnel that you saw on the field, then compare these qualities with the perceptions that Americans have. An example of an American perception is that the best quality in a missionary is a fervent evangelist, or that missionaries need to be quite independent to survive, therefore it doesn’t matter that much how well they can work with others, etc.
4. Housing and transportation costs in the USA where higher than my expectations.
5. American multi-staff church climate is more intense than the climate experienced by most American missionaries. There is less free time, longer days, and higher accountability. Also, since church staff work is more of a job than a compressive life, wives aren’t expected to be nearly as involved in the ministry as they were overseas.
6. Americans have many more choices for friends and entertainment… they bond less and more slowly than a missionary team with fewer choices and higher interaction.
7. It is really strange at first to hear English on a car radio or spoken in a restaurant and at church.
8. Be careful of the initial temptation to indulge in American restaurants and comfort foods.
9. Family members may have some resentment that you’ve missed so much family history while overseas. Actively try to earn these relationships back since they are some of the most important.
10. Celebrate the work of God that you saw while on the field and embrace the life ahead. Don’t live in regret over what you couldn’t get accomplished, or that you sensed God’s leadership to resign.