What is it REALLY like to be someone who crosses cultures as part of his or her calling to mission? Toggle through the stories below, from people working in the North Africa region. One of them described it this way:
"You're asking about stressors? Definitely trying to understand why things are done in a certain way is a stress. For example, it's not always easy to understand the extent to which shame and honour influence the way things are done here. Then of course there's the language barrier, which leads to a lot of loneliness. And I try not to mind, but the level of disorder really gets to me sometimes, especially because things always seem to take longer to get done than I'd expect.
"Sometimes it's the simple things that become stressful, like not having ingredients to cook something that I'm used to making in my home nation (which could be that those ingredients aren't available here, or that supplies are limited or disrupted, or just that I don't know where to find what I'm looking for). Oh, and driving anywhere - that's something that should be simple but isn't!
"Underneath it all, though, the spiritual atmosphere is what causes the most stress. The constant call to prayer in the background, for example, and when people are not receptive to the gospel or to the truths I'd love to share."
People can grow in stress resilience when they have people to talk to, to help them process, and when they have a place to go to get a breather. In a place like that they can get perspective again, learn some tools to help them cope, and then get back to where they really want to be: among people with whom they want to share the message of Jesus.
Help us to provide that kind of place!