Have you ever been weary? To the bone weary? My guess is that you have. No one goes through life without feeling physical, emotional, mental and spiritual exhaustion at some point in their life. We live in a broken world and weariness is woven into the fabric of our lives.
Missionaries who come to Sanctuary Inn are no different. They often come to us feeling weary and worn from the struggles they have been through.
Many have faced cross-cultural adaptation and language learning that has been mentally and emotionally challenging. To learn another language as an adult you have to be willing to spend years being like a two year old that is grasping for words. It is so challenging to remain humble and patient with the process of language learning. And it is hard to wait for friendships and connection with others because you can’t yet communicate in deep and meaningful ways.
Others arrive having experienced heartbreaking conflict with teammates. Many discover leadership that isn’t functioning well on the field. Some arrive to their field of service, after years of preparation, only to realize that what they thought they would do as part of the team isn’t going to work out. It is a gut wrenching experience.
Some face difficulties in their marriage and don’t know where to turn for help; they feel the pressure of being the “missionary that has it all together.” Others struggling to raise their children in a culture that is not their own; watching their kids so easily pick-up the new language and culture of where they are living. There are single missionaries working long hours trying to meet all the needs and then find themselves burnout – feeling emotionally drained and physically spent.
These are just a few glimpses into the realities of our Sanctuary Inn guests. I am honored to provide cross-cultural debriefing for our guests when they come for a stay with us. Their stories are always laced with grief, weariness, and doubts. They have committed their lives to serving God as missionaries, and it is often much harder than they ever imagined it would be.
Sanctuary Inn is a place where Missionaries can come to rest, be heard, and hear God’s voice. Again and again our guests share with staff moments in which God revealed Himself to them during their stay. Their refrain is, “I was walking in the woods and God spoke to me” or “I sat down by the river and I heard God speaking to me as I journaled.” For many God has felt distant as they have struggled and in the quiet they hear His voice again. Hope bursts in their souls.
Rarely do the circumstances of our missionary guests’ lives change during their stay with us. Yet, because of the rest, encouragement, and refreshment they receive here they leave with a renewed sense of purpose and vision. They are ready to carry on for the sake of God’s glory among the nations.
~ Kara Githens for the Sanctuary Inn Team
Please RSVP: [email protected]
We look forward to seeing you!
Ministry presentation will be at 3:00 p.m.