Monday, May 9, 2011

The nature of missionaries

I experienced in Africa how busy you can be while doing missionary work. People were coming to mission house all the time and it was somehow not natural to say when there was day for rest "Its our rest time now, will you leave please!" some sick people came or were brought very late at night and there was no other choise than to take care for them, this involved a lot of self-sacrifice. In this working field burn out is easy to come, if not to be reminded to take time off. Thanks to God I didnt got burn out, but in the end of the weeks I felt my energy level was getting low. Praise God we could rest on Sabbath day.

I read Aventist Frontiers magazine 04.2011 and article written by Gideon and Pam Petersen (Opuwo, Namibia, Africa) captured me.

It is often the nature of missionaries to have martyr spirits, but this trait can be hazardous.

To be effective in ministry, one must stay healthy in mind, body and spirit. Finding balance is essential for sustained ministry. Ellen White cautions: "Man can shape circumstances, but circumstances should not be allowed to shape the man" (Gospel Workers, p. 192) Doing cross-cultural mission work in new environments, one can get caught up in numerous little habits caused by circumstances. The needs are numerous in the community, and people dont know when to stop asking for assistance. Circumstances often dictate that a missionary house is also the missionary office. This blurs the boundary between work and family time. Time management becomes a challenge. Office hours can become 24/7/365, and this is not healthy.

Pray for missionaries that God will give them possibilities to rest and recharge physical, mental and spiritual batteries.