Being a missionary is no easy task. So many hopeful candidates head for the field with dreams and plans, goals and identified targets. Yet a staggering number of medical mission workers end up with their dreams dashed, their plans gone awry.
This breakout session addresses the unfortunate incidences of burnout and premature return from the place of ministry for both short-term and long-term medical missionaries. The world in which we live is increasingly complex. Issues of safety and security have become significant in many of the places where medical missionaries are needed most. Yet the pressures of the work, relationships, and other challenges continue to undermine the longevity, joy, and capacity to thrive for medical missionaries. We must examine what is going on and collaboratively seek wise responses to the challenges, for the sake of both the lost and the called.
Medical missions remains one of the most impactful types of mission services, and perhaps one of the key opportunities into many communities that are otherwise closed or hostile to the gospel. Yet at best, many medical missionaries only try to survive in their work; at worst, others return home prematurely and burnt out. Thankfully, counseling, mentoring and support for medical missionaries is more available today than it used to be. However, what if there were ways to diminish the stress on the medical worker and equip them to flourish? Could making a few changes to recruitment, combining home and field efforts in appropriate placement, and intentionally designing supportive work environments make a difference? This session offers a compelling case study that reveals what works, what has not worked, and what else should be considered.
This breakout session will benefit all medical professionals, including those preparing to go and those already serving in medical missions.
The words of Dr. Bogunjoko, the International Director for mission agency SIM will encourage, inspire, and equip anyone that is exploring the idea of Medical Missions.