Why Are Transitions So Difficult?
This Is Not What I Signed Up For!
“I’ve been through this so many times before; why is it still so hard?”
Angie* has served overseas for 11 years. She has lived in three different countries and changed roles and cities more times than that. Friends and teammates have come and gone. But this latest move, prompted by unexpected visa issues, has left her floundering.
“I should be used to starting over by now, but I’m just tired.
Was This a Mistake?
“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.
One of These Is Not Like the Others.
“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.
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?
Have You Ever Been Cursed?
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.
Who Has Failed Our Global Workers?
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,…
There is a great deal of turnover among global workers particularly in the first four years on the field. Another significant portion return between four and seven years. If a global worker remains on the field for eight years, then we see much more stability of the field, as well as, fruitfulness in church planting.
Turnover is not a problem in and of itself. It is the implication that church planting typically takes longer than seven year….
On The Wings of a Snow White..... Cessna?
One of the struggles that most global workers face is sending their young adult child “back” to the U.S. for college or another path into adulthood. For many of these students, America is a foreign country since they spent most of their lives overseas. Let us share a story of how GRC enabled one family to thrive through this challenge.
A New Brother in the Faith
If you are a country or gospel music fan, you are most likely familiar with the song “Wings of a Dove” written in 1958 by Bob Ferguson. It was first recorded by Ferlin Husky and hit Number One on the country music charts in 1960. Because of it’s popularity, many other country artists through out the years have also recorded it. The first verse reads, “On the wings of a snow white dove. He sends His pure sweet love. A sign from above. On the wings of a dove.“ Harkening back to this song, this story comes from one of our skilled care providers who is also an avid aviator.
That we at GRC spend many hours in airplanes trying to get to global workers is just a fact of member care life…
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.