Thursday, 5 July 2018
Photo: Deanna Richey farewelling two SIM Australia workers serving in South Asia
The provision of quality Member Care for our workers is a critical part of the work of SIM Australia’s Home Ministry team. While the whole team is involved in aspects of Member Care, Deanna Richey and Jenny Fallon especially focus on this area. They provide coaching, expertise and support to those responsible for candidate procession, pastoral care for missionaries and people development and training. Their vital roles contribute significantly towards providing holistic care for SIM Australia workers and supporting them through the ‘lifecycle’ of serving as a missionary.
Brooke*, is a SIM Australia missionary serving in West Africa. She shares about her struggle with anxiety and spiritual dryness below:
“I felt that I had a six-month window to work on my health so I drew up my ‘Mental Health Action Plan’ (MHAP) which included Bible studies, activities, books to read, exercise, Bible verse memorisation, vitamin supplements, meeting regularly with a friend for prayer and talking, getting people praying for me and a weekly time of solitude. Without so many appointments and deadlines outside the home, I was freer to take my time working on these things and to listen to God.
Over the months as I read and we all prayed, the verses on God’s love for me came alive to me. In regards to anxiety, at our SIM team conference in November, God freed me from much of my emotionally low spirits. Then in January, I restarted taking anti-anxiety medication to help combat the physical aspects of my anxiety. I am thankful to God that in allowing myself to be still before Him, He has answered the desires of my heart.”
As you can see from Brooke’s story, she developed challenges while serving on the field. She, like Paul, was given a “thorn in the flesh”. While some may question the stewardship of facilitating mission for workers who have extra challenges, SIM Australia works hard to empower them to fulfil their ministry calling. We believe mission teams are enriched when they embrace workers with difficulties as they exemplify the value of every individual and evidence God’s strength being made perfect in weakness.
• Give thanks for Deanna Richey (Director of Member Care & Personnel) and Jenny Fallon (NSW/ACT Member Care Co-ordinator). Pray that God would give them wisdom in their roles.
• Praise God for how He has worked in Brooke’s* life to bring her to a place of deeper trust in Him. Pray that God would continue to help her to manage her anxiety and juggle her commitments as she serves him.
• Pray for all our missionaries who serve on the field with extra physical or mental challenges. Pray for perseverance and that they would experience God’s strength in their weakness.
*Name changed to protect identity