Monday, June 14, 2010

The Trigger: Overseas Missions

O My Soul:

William Carey is often called the Father of Modern Christian Missions. He was an idealist, a pragmatist, a thinker, an adventurer, a translator, and compassionate of others with the Word of God.

I'm not a Baptist but I do identify with a character like William Carey.

I love the idea of Christian missions, my wife agreed. I like to travel especially off the beaten tourist path. Translation is important. The Christian Bible is translated into many (not all) but most languages in the world. Those people know the accounts of the Bible but not the "What does this mean?"

So, I have a lot in common with William Carey.

I did not go into foreign missions completely naive. Even in hindsight, I was well prepared. I was aware that the greatest stress for missionaries was other missionaries and not so much the culture in which they make their new home. That and many other things about living cross-culturally was the stuff I was already aware.

I went through a battery of psychological tests. The results recommended that I would do well. I was resilient. Blah, blah, blah.

The romance of recruitment is also nice. Church officials taking my family out for dinner. Strategy meetings to plan how I might be incorporated into the goals of the mission in a country or region. Recruitment and raising support in congregations is what I call the "Rock Star" experience. Missionaries have it as a perk whenever they are back in the U.S.

I never ever thought that mission work would be a trigger to move me from childhood depressive episodes to long term clinical depression along with contemplating suicide.

The trigger for my mental illness, my clinical depression and anxiety, was my overseas mission experience.

Future posts will focus on how the events of those years as an overseas missionary triggered a God awful depression from which I am still recovering.

until then

Hope in Christ &
God bless you.


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