ChinaSource: “Preparing for cross-cultural ministry”

The autumn issue of ChinaSource Quarterly, “Member Care for Chinese Missionaries,” focuses on the currently underdeveloped area of member care for cross-cultural workers from China. In submitting her article on caring for families, one contributor, Lisa Tsai, included a list of her recommendations for those who are preparing to follow God’s call into cross-cultural ministry. We’ve pulled those out as good reminders for all who are considering serving Christ in another culture.

Recommendations from a Family Counselor

1. Set up a solid support system before you leave and on the mission field.

There is no contradiction between faith and preparation. The longer you plan to stay on a mission field, the more you need a support group to pray for the needs and uphold you when you face spiritual warfare. They can also provide emotional support so that you will not feel lonely. Find people in your church who know you well and would like to be an advocate, encourager, and supporter for workers—singles and couples. For those arriving on the field, build support groups. Look for other missionaries in the area to be peer caregivers. Make friends with local people.

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