Some years ago I did a little informal survey of some PWs. Their answers fell into nine categories. I thought it might be a good time to take another look at these challenges. Keep in mind as you look at them, that many of these are stresses we, as workers, cannot change. We find ways to adapt and adjust our expectations. This isn’t bad, but it takes work on our part and grace from our Father- lots of it. Continue reading 'Our Greatest Challenges'»
Posts tagged: priorities
Sally and Ben are long-timers overseas. They raised their children on the field, and as empty-nesters, they now look forward to some years with fewer family responsibilities. That changed suddenly when Ben’s mother fell and broke her hip. His mother has been a widow living on her on for a few years. What are they to do?
Why talk about aging parents with those who are living and working overseas? Because either now, or in the future, you may have to help care for your own elderly relatives, and that will influence what you can and cannot do overseas.
But some of our roles and responsibilities are harder to identify. Depending on our husband’s work, we may play many different roles and have many added responsibilities. As an active member of our church we will have varying roles and responsibilities. Just as good citizens, we have roles and responsibilities to fulfill.
I am the kind of person who likes to plan out my activities for the day. I used to schedule far too much for any one day and then be frustrated because I wasn’t able to complete my “assignment.” I saw anything that interrupted my schedule as a distraction from my “real” work. It has taken years for me to see that often the distractions are the “real” work for the day.
Some things that happen before you go to the field make a difference about how difficult that first year will be. A one month field trip is invaluable. Lea says, “This sounds like expensive advice but I have found out through lots of experience working with PWs that it is one of the best investments anyone can make. This month long visit not only helps prepare a person for what to bring when they come out but also opens their eyes to a few of the difficulties they may face overseas. ”
Developing a close relationship that you can continue through email would be a lifesaver. We all need someone we can confide in and having someone not related to our board or field will give us much needed perspective when we go through rough water. Many of us have found, however, that the “folks back home” cannot relate to our field experience, so someone who has lived overseas would be the best type person for a confidante.