by Arden Howell
Exhaustion, Isolation, Loneliness, Burnout… Do these seem like the words defining the season? If so, you’re not alone.
This seems to be a frequent topic among the missions community and other ministry workers, but what are we, as a global Christian body, doing to combat the issue?
There’s tremendous energy and momentum toward getting global workers on the field, and even debriefing once they’ve left the field, but there’s often a lack of intentional effort to provide holistic care while workers are serving overseas. Thus, many people ministering around the world feel alone and are hanging on by an emotional, mental, spiritual, or even physical thread.
We’ve seen increased isolation beginning in 2020 lead to more intense feelings of burnout around the world, even outside of the missions community. People worldwide are being faced more head-on with mental and emotional health, and how that affects their vocational and relational lives.
Tough decisions have forced cross-cultural families into uncertainty or unplanned circumstances. But it’s also forged unexpected friendships and empathy on a global scale.
For Thrive, a ministry focused on replenishing women ministering overseas, 2020’s changes led to a brand-new event, Gather, where more than 400 women assembled online in July for a five-day, web-based event full of speaker sessions, prayer groups, worship, self-care times, social hours, and more.
Gather was a true “silver lining” for many women serving around the world and women who were brought off the field or prevented from returning to their home countries for furlough or sabbaticals for the summer. Here are some of their responses:
“Tears filled my eyes as I saw the faces of all the other participants. Wow. Thank you so much for this!” Darla, Gather 2020 Attendee
“I’m encouraged by the large number of participants and the level of participation in the chats, in addition to the great material we’re hearing.” Barbara, Gather 2020 Attendee
“Seeing all of you, I get the sense of not being alone in this crazy global worker life.” Lynell, Gather 2020 Attendee
This February, Gather is happening again. Women from all sending nations ministering outside their home culture are invited to join the Thrive family for five days of refreshment, encouragement, community, teaching, prayer, resourcing, laughter, and so much more.
Even as 2021 begins to see new changes and questions, we can be reminded that none of us is alone – regardless of passport country, host country, or heart country.
More About Gather:
February 22-26, 2021
$50 Registration Fee (Access to All 35+ Hours of Live Sessions)
Inviting All Women Serving Cross-Culturally
Register and Learn More at thrive.is/gather2021
Thrive is a ministry that exists to replenish women who are serving cross-culturally by providing spiritual resources through Connection, providing transformative experiences through Retreats & Events, providing authentic one-on-one relationships through Alongside, and by increasing Advocates for them as they invest in Kingdom work. Learn More at thriveministry.org.
Arden is the Copywriter for Thrive, a ministry devoted to serving women who are living and ministering overseas. Thrive exists to replenish women by providing spiritual resources through Connection, transformative experiences through Retreats & Virtual Gatherings, authentic one-on-one relationships through Alongside, and increase Advocates for them as they invest in Kingdom work.