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Missionaries, Mental Health, and Accountability

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Foreword 1—Paul and Lila Balisky

Foreword 2—Jeong-Ho Chae

Foreword 3—Malcolm McGregor

Foreword 4—Scott Moreau

Foreword 5—Timothy Kiho Park

Foreword 6—Timothy Tennent

Preface 1—Jinbong Kim

Preface2 —Jonathan J. Bonk

Bible STUDIES

Elijah and the Healing of Depression and Fear—Christopher J. H. Wright

Jeremiah and the Healing of Disillusionment, Bitterness, and Self-Pity —Christopher J. H. Wright

Peter and the Healing of Failure and Guilt —Christopher J. H. Wright

SECTION 1: Missionary Disillusion, Discouragement, and Depression

1. Finding a Way Through the Darkness of . . . Despair, Discouragement, Disillusionment, Despondency, and Disappointment—Ruth L. Maxwell

Response to “Finding a Way Through the Darkness of . . . Despair, Discouragement, Disillusionment, Despondency, and Disappointment”—Kyungwha Hong 

2. A Journey Toward Korean Missionaries’ Mental Health—Do Bong Kim

Response to “A Journey Toward Korean Missionaries’ Mental Health—Thomas Kemper 

3. Missionary Anger: A Korean Cultural Perspective—Jonathan S. Kang

Response to “Missionary Anger: A Korean Cultural Perspective”—Barbara Hüfner-Kemper

4. Navigating the Challenges in International Missions—Soohyun Kim

Response to “Navigating the Challenges in International Missions”—Patricia Lucille Toland

SECTION 2: Missionary Relational Dynamics and Tensions

5. Marital Conflict within Korean Missionary Couples —Hyun-Sook Lee

Response to “Marital Conflict within Korean Missionary Couples”—Ben Torrey

6. Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Missionary Children’s Mental Health—Nancy A. Crawford

Response to “Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Missionary Children’s Mental Health”—Jenny H. Pak

7. Sexual Addiction: The Beauty and Brokenness of Sex—Richard Winter

Response to “Sexual Addiction: The Beauty and Brokenness of Sex”—Sun Man Kim

SECTION 3: Contextual Contributory Factors in Missionary Mental “Illness”

8. Psychological Stress and Limited Access Area Missionaries—Jeong Hann Kim  

Response to “Psychological Stress and Limited Access Area Missionaries”—Karen F. Carr 

9. A Courageous Call, a Confounding Crisis, and the Contours of Appropriate Care—Stanley W. Green

Response to “A Courageous Call, a Confounding Crisis, and the Contours of Appropriate Care”—Jinsuk Byun and Hyekyung Hong

10. God’s Wounded Servants: Exploring the Lived Experience of Trauma —Young Ok Kim

Response to “God’s Wounded Servants: Exploring the Lived Experience of Trauma”—Pamela Davis

11. Spiritual Resources in Dealing with Trauma—Frauke C. Schaefer and Charles A. Schaefer

Response to “Spiritual Resources in Dealing with Trauma”—Meesaeng Choi and Hunn Choi

12. Happiness Among Korean Missionaries and Organizational Care in the Missions Community—Eunjung Um

Response to “Happiness among Korean Missionaries and Organizational Care in the Missions Community”—Lois A. Dodds

SECTION 4: Resources for Missionary Mental Health Care

13. Organization-Centered Member Health —Brent Lindquist

Response to “Organization-Centered Member Health” —Nam Yong Sung

14. A Study on the Emotional Stress and Mental Health of Retired Korean Missionaries—Jae-Hon Lee and Sung Il Moon

Response to “A Study on the Emotional Stress and Mental Health of Retired Korean Missionaries”—Liz Bendor-Samuel

15. Retirement Plans for Korean Missionaries: A Case Study of NamSeoul Church—Jinbong Kim and J. Nelson Jennings

Response to “Retirement Plans for Korean Missionaries: A Case Study of NamSeoul Church”—Lawrence Fung and John Wang

SECTION 5: Workshop Papers

16. Depression and Lament in the Old and New Testament—Michel G. Distefano

17. Missionary Kids: Who Rocks the Cradle?—Lois A. Dodds

18. How to Build a Multicultural Mission—Opportunities and Challenges: A Case Study of WEC Korea—Kyung Nam Park and Kyoung A Jo

SECTION 6: Concluding Summaries

19. Our Pain Is Not in Vain: A Concluding Summary —Jung-Sook Lee

20. But We Have This Treasure in Jars of Clay . . . Mental Health and God’s Servants: A Concluding Summary —Jonathan J. Bonk

Participants

Contributors

Index

Missionaries, Mental Health, and Accountability
Support Systems in Churches and Agencies
Jonathan J. Bonk

Hope and Help in Member Care

Culture shock. Marital strife. Depression. Addictions. Disillusionment. Organization and team tensions. Family trauma. Medical issues. This is not what you signed up for when you pursued missions.

Field workers cross-linguistic, cultural, and ministry boundaries, but they still experience the same mental health challenges as everyone else—and often more. When the missionary unit includes a spouse and children, the complexities multiply as each person undergoes stressors. Needing psychological or psychiatric help too often leads to burnout or worse. It’s time to let go of the stigma and embrace mental health.

Missionaries, Mental Health, and Accountability opens with stories of scriptural saints who also struggled and still made profound impActs for the kingdom. Then, global contributors—comprised of an equal balance of Korean and Western writers—reach into the complexity of missionary mental health with the added component of accountability in church and agency support systems. Specifically, four important areas of missionary mental health are considered: 1) disillusion, discouragement, and depression; 2) relational dynamics and tensions; 3) contributing factors in missionary psychological duress; and, 4)resources and organizational structures that address missionary mental health.

Every chapter demonstrates courage, personal conviction, and judicious honesty.Significant insights provided through case studies, surveys, and personal reflections will offer action steps for increasing mental health awareness and developing mental health best practices for individuals and teams. Written for field workers and those who support them, Missionaries, Mental Health, and Accountability is a critical resource in member care.

Endorsements

  • The mental health issues of missionaries are a topic that rightfully deserves ourattention for missions in the twenty-first century. This publication sheds light on thedark and morbid problems hidden behind the heroic accomplishments far beyondour expectations. Both the missionary and the church communities will find thecandid discussions and the alternatives presented herein vitally indispensable.The comprehensive and professional resources contained in this book unravel aninconvenient truth of missions in our time. All churches that are committed to missions should consult this publication.
    Kyu Sam Han
  • I commend the publication of these honest reflections. This book is an essential resource for leaders of denominations, churches, and mission agencies as they wrestle with the significant challenges of sharing the Good News of Jesus across cultures in the twenty-first century.
    Malcolm McGregorFormer SIM international director 2003–2013currently, seconded to Langham Scholars as Associate Director for Scholar Care
  • This collection of essays offers a fresh—and much needed—appraisal of the challengesof intercultural Christian ministry, especially in terms of the psychological andinterpersonal challenges that arise. Of special value are the papers dealing with thephenomenal rise and expansion of Korean cross-cultural ministry the past four decades.One hopes this model of ministry will grow as a fruit and witness of the global bodyof Christ.
    Wilbert R. ShenkFullerGraduate School of Intercultural Studies
  • These essays call the church to a new level of “best practices” regarding how we screen candidates for missionary service, the support systems at home and abroad which surround the missionary, the intentional provision for space, self-reflection and renewal, as well as ongoing pastoral care for missionaries and their families. This book may challenge our conceptions of what it is like to actually serve as a missionary, but it will be a “balm of Gilead” for those whom we have entrusted with that sacred work to make Christ known among the nations.
    Timothy C. TennentPresident, Asbury Theological

Additional Details

  • Pages: 348
  • Publisher: William Carey Publishing
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publish Year: 2020
  • ISBN: 9781645082842
  • Vendor: William Carey Publishing