Joanna* worked with The Navigators in an inner city outreach to recent immigrants from the Middle East. She was eager to move to the Middle East and continue her ministry there. But as we (The Navigator Staff Care team) spent time with Joanna, we realized she had deep personal issues that would never stand up to the pressures of such a move. The need for healthy laborers in the Middle East is great, but her well-being took first priority.
We didn’t enjoy giving Joanna the “bad” news about putting her international service on hold. But we were committed to coming alongside her and strengthening her areas of vulnerability. Our second interview with Joanna occurred near the 30th anniversary of the Challenger explosion, an event that, in hindsight was due to leaders who were not willing to say “wait” when doubts were raised regarding the safety of the launch.
Over the next three years, we walked alongside Joanna as she invested in her well-being. Joanna read resources such as Henry Cloud’s book, Changes That Heal. She grew in her ability to interact well with current teammates, roommates, and family.
The week of the anniversary of the Challenger explosion, we re-interviewed Joanna. It was delightful to see how much God had done in her life. This time, we gladly gave her the go-ahead to launch.
She’s set to move to the Middle East in three months, prepared for the challenges of living and serving in another culture. There is a Nav staff already there, so if and when Joanna needs help, a mentor is available to walk alongside her.
The need in missions is for healthy laborers who can serve long-term and bring the life of the Gospel to a world in desperate need.
Pray for Joanna and her team, and all those who bring Jesus to people who have never heard the Good News. And pray for the staff care team as we help launch and sustain healthy staff.