Living on the field has unique spiritual, emotional, physical, and safety challenges that most of us as women have not experienced previously in our home cultures. Understanding and actively building in key aspects that help us thrive, rather than just survive, these challenges also decrease the likelihood of premature departure, depression, and other effects of stress.
by Lisa Green, LMFT
When thinking of the worker and expat community in which many of us live, we often think of the men and women that have picked up and moved from a place that is familiar, comfortable, and “home,” to a place that is decidedly less familiar, less comfortable, and takes a long time to feel anything like home. But those men and women aren’t alone.
by Rebecca Leverington, LMFT, LPC, LMSW
Many organizations provide training in contingency planning, evaluating security risks, and evacuation procedures. There are also many excellent counseling and member care hand-outs that provide spiritual resources for coping with crisis. This article focuses on another aspect of security issues: the interpersonal aspect.
by Andrew Brown, LLP
Pain and loss are two of the most difficult realities we face in life. They are normal insofar as they are a common part of the human experience, but they seldom feel natural. Loss and pain are also intertwined—so that significant loss is always accompanied by pain and pain can often be traced back to loss. How well we handle loss then, is often closely related to how we handle pain.
Transitions bring with them the paradox of opportunity and danger––opportunity for change, and apprehension and uncertainty regarding the future. The sooner we begin to expand our thinking, focusing on specific kinds of opportunity and how these can be achieved, and how perceived dangers can be minimized, the more quickly our sense of competency and confidence returns.
By John Leverington, LPC, LMFT, LMSW
Chronic fatigue is real, but the vast majority of people do not recognize it and do not take the steps needed to deal with it before it becomes even more difficult to recover. One of the issues that frequently came up in counseling people serving in faith-based organizations was fatigue. Not just tired or having a bad day by months of chronic fatigue.
by Andrew Brown, LLP
Antalya is a beautiful place. It can also be very hot and dry place—sometimes going months without rain. This makes the surrounding forests highly vulnerable to fire. Occasionally we’ll see an airplane or helicopter loaded with water on its way to extinguish a blaze. Fire is a pretty good analogy for conflict on a team. Fire is a natural and normal occurrence in the life of a forest, just as conflict is a normal part of team life. At lower levels of intensity, both can be very helpful as they clear out “debris” that would otherwise inhibit growth and productivity. At the same time, they both have the potential at higher levels of intensity to be very destructive. What makes the difference?
by Andrew Brown, LLP
“Humility flourishes in a life examined.”
Humility comes from wisdom (James 3:13-18). In an age of seemingly endless knowledge, we need wisdom more than ever. Wisdom is an active (“lived-out”) understanding of God’s preeminent significance, and the deep value of every person He made and loves. James made it clear that God gives this wisdom to anyone who asks with sincere and steadfast faith (James 1:5-8).
by Linda Parker, LMFT
As agency administrators and member care personnel, you care about God’s global workers and the national fellowships they serve. You train, mentor, encourage and coach when needed. You counsel them through the inevitable bumps in the road. But there may be times you wonder if, with so many under your care, you really have a pulse on how things are going. The job seems too big. You wish you had an extra set of eyes to see, ears to hear and hands to help. … Mind The Gaps is intended to help sending fellowships begin a care team, understand what workers go through on the field and how fellowships might partner with agencies.
by Tony Bordenkircher, LMFT
We all, within each one of us, carry the capacity to be an addict. Christians, especially cross-cultural workers, are no exception. That is, the psychological, neurological, and spiritual dynamics of addiction are actively at work within every human being (Addiction & Grace; May, Gerald G.). Addiction occurs when our desires and fears get attached to different behaviors, things, or people. These objects of attachment then come to rule our lives psychologically, physiologically, and relationally. The same processes that are responsible for addiction to alcohol and narcotics are also responsible for addiction to ideas, work, relationships, power, moods, fantasies, and an endless variety of other things.