This Is Not What I Signed Up For!
Help Me Help Others
“This is not what I signed up for!” “I thought my team would be a true community, but why do I feel so alone?” “I’ve invested three years here and have yet to see any fruit.” “My team leader expects so much; I can never measure up.” “I thought we had a good marriage, but since moving here we’ve been fighting nonstop.” “I came halfway around the world to serve God; why does He seem so far away?”
GRC care providers hear statements like these on many occasions. Often, these feelings of doubt are coupled with loneliness and isolation.
Fences Make Great Neighbors. Maybe Even Teammates.
How many times have you tried to help someone work through personal problems and found them getting “stuck” at some point along the way? One area where this often happens is in the process of forgiveness and healing from past hurts. Many of us, despite our best intentions, have had times when true forgiveness just seemed out of reach. Sometimes forgiveness feels too much like letting the other person off the hook. Or we try to forgive and move on, but something happens and the old hurt and anger flare up as strongly as ever.
In his book Help Me Help Others: Practical Ways to Build Healthy Relationships, Dr. Larry Wagner offers tools to help people identify and overcome relational challenges.
“My new teammate is really struggling. She needs someone to talk to. I’m trying to love her well, to be there for her … but this is getting so draining!”
“I’m a husband, a dad, a church planter and team leader. I enjoy all these roles, but it feels like someone constantly needs something from me, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day. People tell me to prioritize and let some things go, but it’s all important. How can I say no to any of it?”
The whole idea of setting boundaries and saying no can feel selfish. Sometimes it can feel downright impossible…
Was This a Mistake?
What does it take to reach the finish line—to fulfill your calling with joy? Track with me a minute here. We can learn something from marathon runners about going the distance while serving cross-culturally.
…English researchers found that men and women were able to run for 1 hour and 43 minutes at a moderate intensity when supplied with water compared to only 1 hour and 17 minutes when denied water.
What If You Allowed Yourself to Just Breathe?
“Should I be here? Was this a mistake?” Since middle school, Kelly dreamed of serving overseas. After a year of service on a university outreach team, she began wrestling more and more with doubts. The culture where she serves values directness, and a lot of “direct” comments about her abilities have stirred up her insecurities. Everyone comments on how my teammates picked up the language more quickly. They have more skills to bring to the table. Am I even doing enough? Am I enough?
Anxiety starts to play a more prominent role in Kelly’s life. It gets harder to sleep at night. Others’ laughter at a language blunder triggers waves of panic. She starts to get sick to her stomach any time she is asked to lead a small group or initiate a conversation with a national.
One of These Is Not Like the Others.
"Why don't you slow down and take a breather?" Susan asked as Dave walked in the door, his sweat-soaked shirt sticking to his body.
"I can't really afford to sit down right now.” As Dave shut the door behind him, the hot desert air seemed to recede as the atmosphere of the house returned to a comfortable temperature. “I just came from Abdullah's house to help patch his roof and now I have to prepare for the men's Bible study tonight and finish my sermon for tomorrow.”
"I just feel like you’re driving yourself into the ground," said Susan. "You look exhausted!"
Insight Into a "Typical Trip."
The president of an Eastern European country; a village in the mountains of Peru; university students in China; a people group along the Mediterranean Sea; a people group in Northern India; and those with medical needs in Kenya. What do these all have in common?
New Members of the Kingdom.
GRC regularly sends teams of care providers to a distant country regularly to provide care to the large number of global workers living there. This country is particularly strategic because of the concentration of global workers and the large number of unreached people groups concentrated there. GRC is committed to these recurring trips to assure a continuity of care to these clients and to see that every worker has access to care. While each trip finds our team encountering “typical” stress issues, each trip also carries its own unique challenges and problems. We hope the following post from one of our long-time care providers will give you more insight into a “typical trip” and the challenges faced by global workers around the world.
Have You Ever Been Cursed?
In April, 2017, the Kingdom population was increased by two. This couple lives in a country that we can’t name and for the safety and anonymity of all parties, names will be fictitious although the people are real. The couple had a friend that was a housekeeper for Mr. and Mrs. George, global workers living in their city. They heard their friend talk about how the Georges were different than other people she had worked for. So they began to observe the Georges and notice the same thing.
I am sure you can imagine that spiritual warfare looks different in animistic tribal villages around the world than it does in the U.S. In America, when someone “curses you” it usually means that they yell profanity at you. In tribal villages, when someone “curses you,” it takes on a much more literal meaning, especially when the person doing the cursing is a witch doctor.
Global Worker families are not immune to this spiritual warfare. On the contrary, at times they are targeted for their very presence in these villages,…