Finding Hope & Healing

Guest Post by Rich and Amber Pfister

Its been over two years now since we have left the mission field.  As I think back, I have a vivid memory of one of the first couple trips to our local grocery store in the US.  It was wonderful and overwhelming all in the same.  As I was in the store, the contrasts of my life on the field and what I was now experiencing filled me with a deep sense of thankfulness as well as loss and grief of what was gone. 

I strolled through the floral department pushing my cart ahead of me.  It was no longer a crowded, humid isle with a shopping basket on my arm and the noisy babbling of hagglers at the register.  Stopping at the flowers, I saw a small stone that said “Hope” on it.  I picked it up and looked at the bright colors and glittery butterfly on it and thanked God that He always gives hope in our time of loss.

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I bought the stone as a monument for myself and my time of grieving my mission and my country that I had so suddenly left.   I realized that it was ok for me to be sad and to miss everything so dear in Haiti, yet is was important to look for the hope in the new day and in the new circumstances of my life.

Time passed, and healing began to take place and new normals were established again.  The journey of life on the mission field is a beautiful one, with great joys and gains and also deep sorrows and loss.  May God be praised for His mercy in our lives and may we always stand in the strength of His Name and on His Word.

“So then neither is he that planteth is any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.  Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.  For we are labourers together with God; ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” I Cor. 3:7-9

We’d love to hear your thoughts: 

  • What can you do to help your missionary through seasons of grief and loss? What are some ways you can help them process their emotions from afar?
  • What are some ways you can help your missionary (or others) when they arrive back in our home church/community (whether short-term or as they re-enter)?
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Cultivating Relationships in 2016

by Klint and Sarah Fiechter

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2016?  It seems like we all have situations in our lives we want to improve.  The new year is a great time to take inventory: What will we change? Will the change be lasting?   

How about cultivating relationships within your church family — specifically your international church family (missionaries)? Does this ever make the resolution list?  

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Here are some practical tips on strengthening relationships with missionaries.

 1) Develop (creative) communication routines that work for both parties.

With the accessibility of international calls, Skype, Face Time and social media, try setting-up an intentional time to connect with your missionary. (Remember to give grace for possible pitfalls: spotty internet connection or ministry, cultural and language strains which may sometimes inhibit them from connecting)

2) Send care packages or personal letters.  

This personal touch helps them feel connected and loved by their church family. Encourage others (Small Groups, Potlucks Groups, Sunday School classes, etc.) to do the same! 

3) Prayer.

This seems obvious, right? Set a clock in your house to match their time zone or put a reminder on your phone to pray for them during your busy day. Staying connected to your Missionary through prayer WILL strengthen your the relationship with them even when you are unable to contact them personally.

 

Do you have any things that have worked for you?  Feel free to leave them in the comments.