Wednesday, March 16, 2011

worker care

Mennonite Mission Network has learned through long experience that the pressures and sometimes isolation of cross cultural work lead to high levels of burn out and other problems. And so they take the health, mental and otherwise, of their workers seriously.
To address these issues they employ a number of "worker care" people. A new initiative has been to take on, as mission workers, a couple who are based in London and travel the world visiting workers and seeing what they need. Wayne and Lois Hochstetler have come to see us twice and have washed dishes, played with our boys, visited ministry sites, met people, talked with us, done more formal counseling, and taken us out to eat. Their experience in pastoring and counseling qualify them for the work. Making them more highly qualified is the fact that that they are easy, warm, and adaptable people. Now they have been all over the world and have seen missionaries dealing with all kinds of situations, experiences which they bring to bear on other situations. In addition, they have been living outside of their home culture themselves.
Lois wrote a list on her blog the other day about the great things about being a missionary. It all feels very true to me, having spent most of my life in cross cultural mission in some way--as a missionary kid and now as a missionary myself. Here is the list.
  • You get to live in some of the most beautiful parts of the world.
  • You get to travel.
  • You get to be (have to be!) self directed.
  • Your experiences are very varied.
  • For most, the daily routine is very unstructured, often relaxed.
  • You get to see so many life experiences from different cultural points of view.
  • You get a much greater, "zoomed back," world view.
  • You feel unique.
  • The great satisfaction, when it happens, of "getting it," be it the language, a cultural moment, a connection with a national.
  • Kinship with other expatriots.
  • Although sometimes lonely, you know you are prayed for.
  • Those moments of supreme grace when there is a sense of being in the presence of, and participating with, a great and compassionate God.
  • You get to combine all this with a passion for the church, the Kingdom of God and the spiritual wellbeing of people all over the world.

1 comment:

  1. Anna -- The Hochstetlers sound wonderful! How awesome it would have been to have people like them available to us when we were overseas! I am going to show her list to the kids -- I think it will really make sense to them. Thanks for this addition and your thoughts. xo jill xo