Technology has allowed us to be able to connect and communicate with more people, yet loneliness continues to be an issue for many people. There are many theories out there as to why this continues to be such a prevalent issue, but this article will focus more on a few small changes we can make towards connecting on a deeper level in order to help combat those times we begin to feel lonely.
“Most people don’t sign up to be overwhelmed,” said GRC counselor Erik in a conversation I had with him, but many people accidentally set themselves up to become overwhelmed by saying ‘yes’ to tasks that they should say ‘no’ to. So, how can we determine which tasks we should say ‘no’ to? How can we determine what to place on our “Not To Do” list?
Hamed is a refugee from a Muslim country where there has been much internal strife; he is one of a people group of less than 300,000; there are no known believers. He is living in a nearby country and has found part time work as a “language coach” for a small group of westerners who want to learn his language.
Joel is a western “worker”, living in a difficult country with his wife and three others in their small team, in the midst of language learning so they might at some point reach out to a people group with no known believers. He is in year two of the planned three year language learning phase and has struggled to acquire this strange tongue. Only recently has Joel obtained a new “language coach”, a native speaker, but who himself has very little English skill.
When we're doing well right before everything falls apart, or when our stress level reaches the ceiling - those are the times when it can be difficult to continue to trust in our Father's goodness and perfect plan. In a conversation with GRC staff member, Lisa, she shared a few words of wisdom from her own experience on how to cling to our faith in the middle of tough times when we may feel like letting go.
He twists the Word to create false expectations of self and others. He picks at the past wounds and fears of inadequacy and being “too . . . “ (fill in the blank). He mingles guilt and shame into her calling to the field. She believes the gospel, but it gets confused with self-doubt, the need to “help” others, and the difficulty of reconciling the hope of redemption with the pain, suffering, and evil surrounding her.
I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Lisa, a member of the GRC staff. Lisa has served overseas with her husband, Scott, for over twenty years. As we talked, we got on the topic of how we can show care for one another. Here is what Lisa shared from her years of experience ministering to her co-workers on the field:
Think back to how you first met and became friends with your best friend. Can you remember? Sometimes growing a friendship or a community of friends can happen effortlessly, but when we move to a new location, we may find ourselves at a loss when trying to form those same deep connections. Here are a few ideas Becky (GRC's Spiritual Director) gave when asked how to go about building a community after moving to a new place.
A remote village in a distant land, a strange tongue. One woman, seeking. Willing to do whatever it might take to find that which she seeks.
A compound for global workers, distant land, familiar tongue. One woman providing nursing care to more people in one day than she may have seen in a week in her “passport country”. She, too, is seeking. Also willing to do whatever it might take to find it.
Two women, separated by culture, language, and life experience, living only miles apart. But their stories will bring them much closer together…
When we are preparing to live in a new location, it can be tough to determine how to create a foundation for emotional and spiritual health while living overseas. Here are five tips to help set that healthy foundation in order to thrive while serving.
I recently sat down with with GRC’s Spiritual Director to talk about what making space for our spiritual life can look like and why this is important in our daily life. Becky stated that sometimes we “can get so busy with the doing that we neglect the being.” This is where creating Spiritual space can be vital to our spiritual well-being. While these steps are not exhaustive, Becky gave a few starting points to begin creating spiritual space: