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Grit to Stay Grace to Go

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Table of Contents

Foreword

Introduction

Part One: Challenges to Staying Well—Grit Needed

Chapter 1: It's Harder Than I Thought: Missions is Difficult

Chapter 2: I Feel Like I'm Always Adapting: Continual Adjusting

Chapter 3: I Must Keep My Footing: Balancing Two Worlds

Chapter 4: I Can’t Anticipate Everything: Unexpected Challenges

Chapter 5: I Must Navigate Priorities: Juggling Multiple Roles

Chapter 6: I Feel Alone Even When I'm Not: Loneliness

Chapter 7: Why Can’t We All Get Along?: Messy Relationships

Chapter 8: I Must Sort Through Shoulds, Coulds, and Wants: Finding My Niche

Chapter 9: I Sometimes Feel Rootless: Transitions

Chapter 10: I’d Like to Escape: Wanting Easier

Part Two: Staying Well When Others Go—Grace Needed

Chapter 11: I Feel Betrayed and Let Down: Hurt and Disappointment

Chapter 12: We Were Going to Change the World Together

Chapter 13: I’m Sad and Grieving: Loss and Grief

Chapter 14: I Invested So Much and So Few Are Left: Rights and Scarcity

Chapter 15: It’s All My Fault, Yet What a Relief: Conflict and Guilt

Chapter 16: Wait, You’re Leaving Because of That?: Judging Motives

Chapter 17: I Will Overlook and Pardon Them: Forbear and Forgive

Chapter 18: I’m Still Meant to Be Here: Remember your Commission

Chapter 19: I Affirm and Bless Them as They Go: Speak Well Of

Chapter 20: I’ll Let Them Go: Relinquish and Release

Chapter 21: I’ll Concentrate on My Responsibilities: Readjust

Chapter 22: I’ll Invest and Nest Here: Stay Awhile

Part Three: Deciding to Stay or Go—Grit and Grace Needed

Chapter 23: What Is My Calling?: The Foundation

Chapter 24: What Are The Pros and Cons of Staying? Of leaving?: Weighing the Reasons

Chapter 25: Why Do I Want to Transition?: Determining Desires

Chapter 26: Who Should I Talk to and When?: Necessary Conversations

Chapter 27: What Part Do My Relationships Play in This Decision?: Resolution and Reconciliation

Chapter 28: What Would I Do If I Weren’t Afraid?: Facing Fear

Chapter 29: What Do I Know About Myself That Affects This Decision?: Self-Awareness

Chapter 30: What Changes Need to Occur for Me to Stay?: Making Adjustments

Chapter 31: What Key Scriptures Can Encourage and Guide Me?: Biblical Guidance

Chapter 32: How Do I Sense God Leading Me?: Seeking His Will

Chapter 33: Have I Already Moved On?: Staying Present

Chapter 34: What Would I Be Going To?: Next Steps

Chapter 35: Whether I Stay or Go, How Do I Say Goodbye Well?: Healthy Goodbyes

Chapter 36: A Closing Challenge

Appendices

Acknowledgments 

Grit to Stay Grace to Go
Staying Well in Cross-Cultural Ministry
Sue Eenigenburg and Eva Burkholder

Don't Leave Too Soon, Don't Stay Too Long

Staying isn't always good and leaving isn't always bad. Both require grit and grace. Cross-cultural ministry presents us with many difficulties like transitions, loneliness, messy relationships, and the desire to escape. The lies we believe tempt us to leave our work too soon. But nothing tests our resolve to stay like seeing others go.

Grit to Stay Grace to Go normalizes the challenges of ministry through honest and humorous stories from the authors' own lives as well as testimonies from many other workers. The point is to help cross-cultural workers not just to stay, but to stay well, by countering lies with truth. This workbook provides thoughtful reflection questions, practical action steps, and suggested prayers. It encourages stayers to process their grief, guilt, and relief when saying goodbye to goers. In this way, they can move forward with forgiveness and humility and truly bless the departing ones. Those considering leaving will find poignant questions and spiritual practices to help them make an intentional, not reactive, decision.

Are you considering leaving the field? Or do you know someone who is? Work through this book by yourself or with others. You will gain wisdom to help workers develop grit and grace to stay or go.

Endorsements

  • A significant shift in cross-cultural ministry has come from the ability to travel to any part of the world in such a relatively short time. Mobility has increased access to more places and has provided a means by which more people are able to participate in short-term mission endeavors, producing many wonderful outcomes. However, one detrimental aspect is the unfortunate understanding of missions as being able to be accomplished in brief periods of time. Those who have yet to hear of the treasure of the gospel are the most difficult to reach, and this workbook addresses one of the central components necessary: grit lived out gracefully! Sue and Eva have blessed us with what I believe will be a central tool to prepare for, gracefully persevere, and navigate transitions in the work God guides each of us as members of Christ’s body to engage.
    Steve Coffey, DSLChristar, US Director
  • I know you are not supposed to read the last chapter to see how the book ends, but if you choose to do so, I believe you will be drawn in by Sue and Eva’s closing challenge. Grit to Stay Grace to Go is packed full of powerful insights to help you navigate the rough waters of a potential transition. It will entice you to read the chapters that pertain to your unique situation, linger long in the reflection questions (that make you pause and wrestle!), process potential responses, and delve deeply into the abundant resources provided. Thank you, Sue and Eva. May the Lord use the gift of this practical handbook to help both Goers and Stayers!
    Lorrie Lindgren CEO/President, Thrive Ministry
  • This is a wonderful resource for all of us who are called to do “the hardest work in the world.” Grit to Stay Grace to Go overflows with the kind of biblical and practical insight I wish we’d had when my wife and I started our own missionary journey years ago. It tackles the tough questions that every cross-cultural worker encounters sooner or later, when the stakes are high and the answers feel elusive. Sue and Eva have given us a precious gift from their decades of experience.
    Steve Richardson President, Pioneers USA
  • In their book, Grit to Stay Grace to Go, Sue Eenigenburg and Eva Burkholder provide nearly everything a cross-cultural worker needs in a single, stand-alone volume. Biblical wisdom and personal experience are woven together with practical steps and heart-focused reflection questions. This book will help you persevere through the challenges of cross-cultural ministry, sort through your emotions during times of transition and farewell, and discern whether it's time for you to stay or move on. Grit to Stay Grace to Go is a true "cross-cultural manual," and every worker needs a copy.
    Elizabeth TrotterAuthor of Serving Well: Help for the Wannabe, Newbie, or Weary Cross-cultural Christian Worker Editor-in-Chief of the missions website A Life Overseas
  • Eenigenburg and Burkholder’s workbook is a timely addition to the literature on cross-cultural transition for it delves deeply and wholistically into the personal and relational dynamics of why mobility matters to those both staying and leaving. In a conversational tone, the authors examine the unhelpful beliefs, emotions, and behaviors we commonly engage in when staying ourselves (Part One) or experiencing the departure of others (Part Two). Alongside the candid narrative and analysis are rich scriptural insights and diverse practical resources for staying well. Part Three explores critical questions when deciding to stay or leave and is itself a relevant manual for facing this dilemma. Taken together, the three parts invite us to reflect, process, and ultimately bring a transformative presence to our relationships in the crucible of change.

    This workbook is valuable for the cross-cultural mission community as a whole—those sent, senders, leaders, and member care providers. It is a resource for developing emotionally healthy and resilient relationships in the constant cycles of transition and goodbyes.

    Michèle Lewis O’Donnell PsyD Consulting Psychologist, Member Care Associates, Inc 

  • Grit to Stay Grace to Go is a must-read for all cross-cultural workers because it equips people at three key touchpoints in their overseas lives: when life is hard (very hard!), when you say goodbye as others leave (again!), and when you’re discerning your next step. Grit to Stay Grace to Go is destined to become one of the books that makes the cut when you have to decide on your “keepers.”

    Amy Young Author, Looming Transitions, Founder, Global Trellis 

  • I know you are not supposed to read the last chapter to see how the book ends, but if you choose to do so, I believe you will be drawn in by Sue and Eva’s closing challenge. It is packed full of powerful insights to help you navigate the rough waters of a potential transition. It will entice you to read the chapters that pertain to your unique situation, linger long in the reflection questions (that make you pause and wrestle!), process potential responses, and delve deeply into the abundant resources provided. Thank you, Sue and Eva. May the Lord use the gift of this practical handbook to help both Goers and Stayers!

    Lorrie Lindgren CEO/President, Thrive Ministry 

  • Sue Eenigenburg and Eva Burkholder do my favorite thing—they pull up a chair and tell their stories, and I listened! With candor, authenticity and conviction, they share their own experiences and lessons learned while observing and working with individuals and teams during their years of service. They adeptly drive home the truth that serving cross-culturally will require both grit and grace, yet with grace they come alongside to nurture and nudge us with practical application. Their reflection, suggested response, and prayer challenge sets us on a new path, and then cements our foundation with an arsenal of good resources. Bravo for such an authentic read and a tool we can happily pass on to equip future generations.

    Dorcas Harbin Executive Vice President, One Another Ministries International 

  • How clearly I remember those difficult days when my husband and I decided we needed to leave Egypt. It was our seventh year in the country, and from the outside, the work we were connected to was going well. Our work with a semester abroad program that introduced Christian college students from the United States to all the religious and political complexity of the Middle East was in its third year and we were busy raising our family in a cross-cultural context when the whispers we both felt became conversations that always began with “Is it time to go?” I remember longing for a map of sorts, a guidebook that could help show us the way. Instead, we floundered through the process in lonely isolation. It is this story that brings me to endorse with gratitude Grit to Stay Grace to Go, the very guidebook that would have helped us through the decision-making process. Indeed, it is a book that is much needed in the libraries of cross-cultural Christian workers. While through the years a large body of work has emerged with memoirs, personal essays, adjusting, and reentry, this book offers something different, summed up in the sentence “Do I stay, or do I go?” Thick with practical advice, never glossing over the hard, offering insight from saints who have gone before, and lacing scripture throughout, Eva and Sue will be your gentle guides as you read this excellent volume.

    Marilyn GardnerAuthor, Between Worlds: Essays on Culture and Belonging and Worlds Apart: A Third Culture Kid’s Journey

Additional Details

  • Pages: 214
  • Publisher: William Carey Publishing
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publish Year: 2023
  • ISBN: 9781645084839
  • Vendor: William Carey Publishing