Before we sold our minivan upon moving from Africa, my husband and I totaled up how many times we’d been hit.
The grand total: 16.
Missed our last post on Emotionally Healthy Missions? Grab it here!
When you’re headed overseas, it’s easy to underestimate the effects your organization’s health could have on the ability to thrive overseas.
As I type, I think of the friend who called me recently, voice throaty with tears, as she discussed their lack of ability to care for her after stepping off the field.
Or I remember my conversation with the missionary couple who felt they had no option but to leave their organization once they’re on the field.
Would you believe me if I said emotionally-healthy missions could determine how long you stay overseas? If I said it was a predictable gauge of the longevity and success of your ministry?
You will meet them. I promise: Emotionally-unhealthy missionaries. I wish I could tell you this is a category of people, offering you a litmus test. But in reality, our level of emotional health links closely to our sin.
Sometimes their emotional lack of health pulls them off the field. Other times, it simply creates a toxic environment for disciple-making.
On Go. Serve. Love, we talk a lot about strategies to reach the 4.13 billion unreached.
This month, we’re sharing stories from Avant Ministries, which since 1892 has focused on planting and developing the church in unreached areas of the world.
Through church planting, church support ministries, media, education, camp and business, Avant hopes to establish churches among the unreached: mature, nationally-led churches that desire to plant more churches, first in their own city, and then all over the world.
We’re back with current need-to-know missions thoughts from around the web.
What I Wish Missions Had Told Me
Remember our posts, What do you wish you’d known before you went? Parts I and II? Some great minds over at A Life Overseas have collaborated for Dear Missions, I Wish You Had Told Me…as well as 7 Questions to Ask during Your First 7 Days on the Field.
Our family’s support raising journey chaos adventure fell around the birth of our first child. By the time he was 13 months old, we’d hauled him to 13 states. We’d lift him into his carseat again, and he’d start wailing. Poor kid.
I know that for a lot of us, the path is long and uphill.
My family wrangled our carry-ons into that taupe-colored hum of a 757, bound for six months stateside. (After the lunacy of the week before, preparing to abscond for six entire months, I was just grateful to make it to the plane.)
I felt conflicted.
There was of course the sizeable slab of me that couldn’t wait to throw my arms around my parents, watch my kids grab the hands of with my nieces and nephews again. I was geared up to sit around a table with the people I’ve loved for a lifetime, just like that. Perhaps I would carry a dish of corn on the cob, say, to laugh at my sister’s jokes in crazy-easy normalcy. I hoped to devour a slightly unhealthy amount of blueberries and bing cherries in those months; to close my eyes over the quiet purr of a road devoid of potholes; to throw a few dishes in the dishwasher just because I could.
We know it. You know it. Heading overseas is this tornadic level of activity.
I remember fantasizing about the moment I’d finally click my seatbelt shut on that 757: At least–after finally checking our exactly-51-lb.-bags, shuttling four kids through security with every device we still owned, and waving goodbye to the posse of weeping family–I couldn’t do anything else for nine whole hours. (Um. Except entertain a toddler and keep him from driving the rest of the plane bonkers?)