What Are Some of the Challenges you face in Ministry?
- Saying Goodbye – Saying goodbye is just a constant reality of our life. It never gets easier. We leave behind family and friends and return to meet kids that were born and are now 2 or 3 years old. We miss weddings, funerals, and birthday parties. On top of that we live in an environment which is constantly fluctuating. Just the other day we learned that Ethan’s best friend at school is moving back to France and won’t be back after this summer. He is very sad and it is just hard. These types of things happen to all, but they happen a lot more frequently for us and it is always a challenge.
- Constantly Playing Catch up – We have moved here with people who have grown up in this culture and so we are always playing catch up to learn the essentials of life that they have known since a young age. Even our kids play catch up as they have not just one culture to learn but two. We make constant progress, but there is always more that we could learn. There is never a time when I sit down in relief and say…”We made it, we are done!”
- Challenges of Daily Life – Daily life here presents challenges that add stress: worms, cockroaches, mosquitoes, unfiltered water, power outages, scratch cooking and I could go on. The stresses in themselves are not great, but it the culmination of all of them that sometimes makes me scream in frustration. Every piece of life here takes at least one more step and all the steps together makes the climb of daily life seem a lot steeper.
- Predictably Unpredictable – Living here means that the only thing I am sure of is that I have no idea what each day will bring me. I have learned to just take things as it comes, but it is still a challenge at times.
- Finding a Balance – There is never a shortage of good things we could be doing. It takes wisdom to carefully pick what and how we fill our time. Yet it takes even more wisdom to protect ourselves from burnout. It is a fine line that we are often walking the edge of.
- Rest – It is hard to find rest here. It takes more creativity as there are not as many relaxing options around us.
- Being Constantly Willing to Sacrifice – God asks all of us to be willing to sacrifice and in theory I am always in agreement with him. However I have to keep my heart in check to make sure in practice I am living our that call and not just agreeing with it.
- Keeping our Eyes on The Goal – We can do all the right things but if we take our eyes of the source it is for nothing