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Learning to be resilient in 2021 Mission Life. How COVID has changed plans for missionaries and the impact of living through the “in between”.
What’s next? This ordinary question, which has been a big part of everyday life in missions, has been turned upside down over the past year.
For the Missionary or the Cross-Cultural Worker, “what’s next” is usually an exciting question full of expectation and hope.
Pre-2020, the question “What’s next?” may have sounded like this:
And then all our plans changed….
Over the past year, and even currently, the question “What’s next?” may sound like this:
What has changed? Our circumstances? Yes! AND our perception of our circumstances.
Did we assume that we could actually predict what’s next? Now we realize that we cannot; we are not god.
We know that our plans are in God’s hands. Most of us want to allow God to rule our days and plans and guide our lives. But suddenly we realize that we have much less control than we thought. All we have is today, the present, and we cannot really plan “what’s next”.
This can be a frightening experience, or it can be an opportunity to live in the daily privilege of mindfully walking with YAHWEH by faith, and truly depending on Him for our every need and every plan.
For some of us, this can provoke anxiety or fear. How can we walk with each other through this experience? How can we live it as a shared experience in community?
All of us are wondering … what’s next? But remember that the Missionary/Cross-Cultural Worker is caught between two worlds – perhaps feeling stuck in one and wanting to be in the other, not sure what’s the best decision for right now.
Let’s pray for each other that this may be a time of deepening love and fellowship with Jesus, our companion and friend – the one who faithfully obeyed the Father even when he knew what was next … the cross!
Let’s pray for Canadian missionaries who feel “stuck” in Canada.
Let’s pray for children of missionaries separated from their friends, family, and the country where they feel “at home”.
Jesus promised that “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). He also said, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matt 2820b).
Anna Marie is a Missionary & Clinical Counsellor with the MORE Network. She has been married to Doug for 40+ years, has 2 children and several grandchildren and lives in Vancouver, BC. She has provided counselling and Member Care in Asia for 12 years in several locations. Her passion is to help missionaries and their families through grief, pain and loss while in various stages of transition. She understands just how difficult it can be transitioning in and out of cross-cultural ministry. She holds a nursing degree (BScN) and counselling degrees (Master of Arts in Counseling) and is recognized as a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Canadian Certified Counsellor.