After 2 years in her job as an occupational nurse in Santa Barbara, Katie was unhappy. She loved her patients and she felt like her God-given strengths were being used in amazing ways through her profession. What was the problem then? She could not any longer ignore her internship experience in Costa Rica during her last year in college. Katie reconnected with that organization, and began her journey to serving long-term with them. Mark helped her get started on her onboarding: meeting the staff, engaging with a coach to learn about raising support, and preparing all the details for life overseas. All of this happened through a unique online onboarding process on Grow2Serve.net. Katie continued her cross-cultural preparation with a hybrid form of training at Center for Intercultural Training in North Carolina, another one of the partner organizations that Grow2Serve supports.
Katie settled into her life and ministry in a village working at a clinic alongside Costa Rican doctors. Not only was she using her gifts in nursing, but she was able to passionately provide students from the U.S. an experience not unlike her own when she was in college. Although she loved her ministry and team, she struggled with loneliness and felt an overwhelming heaviness in her spirit. While her supervisor began to look for counseling possibilities back in California, Katie registered for a course called “Sustainable Resilience” on the MissionTools.org website of Grow2Serve. She met 8 other missionaries from around the world that were all experiencing some form of depression, discontent, or disillusionment with their life or ministry. Julie had the opportunity to facilitate the group of 8 working through the learning material together.
After 12 days of prayer and discussion surrounding our call, our control, our choices, our challenges, and our community, Katie realized that she was not alone with her feelings. She received some tools to use in her life to be able to recognize the God-given resiliencies that she had all along. Katie did not return to the U.S. She stayed on in her role and continues to thrive to this very day.
We get these kinds of amazing opportunities to impact God’s kingdom again and again through the hundreds of missionaries that we serve. Our job is to prepare them to be fruitful when they arrive and to walk alongside them for the long haul. Our hope is that they do so much more than just survive a new culture. We pray that they successfully fulfill the calling that God has placed on their hearts.
Check out these courses on www.grow2serve.com/calendar coming up in the next few months.
- 3 – 10: Onramp
- 3 – 30: Onboarding 101
- 12 – 26: Sustainable Resilience
- 12 – 19: Contextualization and Culture Study (EC2)
- 31 – 11: Parenting Third Culture Kids