When Missionaries Come Home (Paul Bell)

2023 has BRCC serving missionaries in new and creative ways. As we develop and provide these services, we’re regularly reminded that the need is great, and understanding and caring wisely for missionaries is worth all the investment we can give.

This article by Bradley Bell highlights one of the common burdens these workers carry and how the church can help shoulder that burden. This excerpt captures an experience we often see:

“I’ve observed a common thread that makes their collective griefs profoundly worse: no one really understands. If they were honest, I think many missionaries would say that no one seems to care.

“Our lack of curiosity to ask deeper questions and truly listen doesn’t make the harbor unsafe—just unhospitable. The returnee quietly becomes a ghost in a gospel environment.

“[By analogy, one military veteran said that his] ghostly experience of being in the physical presence of loved ones and yet not really seen or known—it haunts me because I’ve been there too. Not as a soldier. I’ve been a returning missionary.”

One of our goals with the MCI is to build a small local network of care providers who can make the return home a little less painful, and a little more of a time of finding a safe harbor. We praise God that we can join arms with those providing gospel centered counseling care to missionaries and pastors and cultivate a place in Roanoke and the New River Valley for such care.

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