Why would Missionaries need counseling?
Anxiety from safety issues in unstable countries, cross-cultural dilemmas, spiritual warfare, team conflicts, mission board disagreements, financial support stressors, plus all the normal problems of any family. Sometimes missionaries suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after experiencing difficult situations like the examples below.
- Gunmen broke into the school compound. The missionaries were thankful they were only robbed and no one was shot, raped or kidnapped for ransom. But for months afterward the team leader does not sleep well. He’s exhausted, cannot concentrate and has difficulty making decisions.
- A missionary couple traveling on an isolated mountain road came upon a bloody bus crash. The nearest hospital was hours away. The missionaries gave first aid and made heartbreaking decisions about who to transport to the hospital. They didn’t have room to take everyone who needed to go. As best they could the missionary couple assessed who of the critically injured had the greatest chance of surviving the trip long enough to be saved at the hospital. The desperate faces of those they left behind still haunt them.
We specialize in therapy for recovery from trauma and horrifying events. Many of our therapists have served overseas and we have a deep burden for coming alongside missionaries.
Counseling Missionaries Home on Furlough
You can bless missionaries home on furlough by providing them with counseling sessions. They will return to the field renewed and strengthened for ministry. We offer Individual, marital, and family counseling at reduced fees for missionaries. Friends of missionaries can make tax deductible contributions for these services to LifeSpring Center.
- She served dying aids victims in Africa. On furlough her home church lovingly gave her a spa day treatment package. She didn’t wish to offend them, but apologetically refused the certificate explaining that she would rather have the money to buy antiviral medications for her ministry. Listening to her heartfelt concerns, the church assured her of funding for antiviral medications and offered her a gift of counseling sessions which she accepted. With the therapist she shared the painful grief of her work and gained valuable strategies for self-care to protect herself from burn-out.
- After recovering from a bout of malaria, a missionary struggled with depression and his Bible translation progressed slowly. On furlough he dreaded meeting with financial supporters, felt like a failure and considered changing careers instead of returning to the field. His home church pastor encouraged him to accept a gift of counseling. With the therapist he learned how to overcome his depression and perfectionism. When he returned to Bible translation on the field he also effectively ministered to other missionaries who felt discouraged.
They’ve lived in another country all their lives. They’re going to college in San Diego adjusting to huge transitions. Bless them and their parents on the field by providing counseling sessions for missionary kids.
Counseling Missionaries on the Field
As funds are available LifeSpring Center has financed therapists to travel overseas to missionaries gathering for conferences or regional meetings. We teach workshops and are available for counseling sessions. Please see the Peru Report about a recent ministry trip. We have had similar trips to other countries including some sensitive locations that we cannot report on.