We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5:4-5)
Attendees: Catherine, Joy, Jodi and Whitney
Language and culture learning may be some of the most draining things about beginning a new life on the field, yet they are also the very things that bring a worker to a place of contentment and effectiveness.
Father God, we ask that You give these women courage, perseverance and energy for this process. We know that often times such abrupt changes in life and place bring on many illnesses. Please comfort and provide them with grace and good health care (along with learning and remembering the new medical vocabulary necessary!) as their bodies adjust to their new surroundings. May they retain (or develop) a sense of humor through it all, and if married, protect them from taking out their frustrations on their spouses. During the retreat, may they each thoroughly enjoy the interaction with other women, in English, who are in or have been in their similar struggles. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A quote from one of the attendees: “I enjoy the work I’ve been ‘called’ to, and yet it is often through the culture clashes and attempting to navigate cross cultural living that I find the Lord exposes sin in my heart, my own ethnocentrism and the desire for others to function on my terms. So it takes much grace and repentance to humbly take an honest look at myself and realize that I truly can’t do any good thing on my own and in my own effort.”