by Alan

Traveling in a somewhat decent SUV on a Kenyan road dotted with potholes large enough to eat our SUV, I talked with another Wycliffe missionary counselor about the idea of missionary counseling, especially for missionaries overseas. He rather bluntly stated that to not provide counseling for missionaries is doing them harm. I sat there stunned because what he actually was saying that to not give counseling to missionaries was unethical.
You see, in counseling and medical work there are general ethical guidelines that assist in treating the client or patient properly. One of those guidelines is called non-malfeasance. That fifty-cent word means that counselors should do no harm to those whom we counsel. Well, duh!! But what my missionary counselor friend was stating was that to not counsel missionaries who were NOT current clients was, also, doing harm. This struck hard as this left me with little choice about whether to give my life to counseling missionaries. Missionaries, whether they come to a counselor or not, deal with a great amount of discomfort overseas; and to not to be available to see them would be doing harm to them and to the people whom they serve.
As an example, I thought I would give you some idea of what missionary kids (mk) deal with while their parents are doing missionary work.
–Homesickness: Many mks are not with their parents, but spend their time at a boarding school with other missionary kids and expatriate kids. This might cause them to be homesick which effects their grades and social life.
–Poor Family Relationship: Because mks did not choose to be in another country their relationship with their parents is strained. This sometimes causes the entire family to go back to their home country, which may or may not solve the problem.
–Family Finances: One of the big concerns of missionaries is their financial burden. Kids, being the sponge that they are, pick up on this and carry this burden around like it is their own.
–Transition: This is what life is all about. However, transition is looks a bit differently on the field. Because of the transition from home to school and back, mks find it difficult to connect to others and contribute to their environment, whether it be school, home, or friends.
Missionaries are needed around the world, whether they are American or non-American. But they cannot accomplish their goal without some type of missionary care. I know this might be disheartening for some of you to think about missionaries having these types of problems, but they are people like you and me. Pray for me as I move toward this end and pray for the missionaries that they will find the type of care that they need. The need is great and the workers are few.

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Filed under american, anxiety, depresssion, missions, SUV, Transition

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