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Issues of Belonging and The Missionary Family: Part 1



Humans are social creatures, and the need for a sense of belonging is a major need for all of us. It is a fundamental human need that is essential for our physical and mental health. A sense of belonging is the feeling of being accepted and connected to a group or community. It is the feeling of being part of a purpose larger than ourselves. It is the feeling of being accepted and valued for who we are. When we have a sense of belonging, we feel secure and supported. We feel like we are part of something bigger than ourselves. We feel like we belong and are accepted. Having a sense of belonging is important for our mental health. It helps us to feel connected to others with a sense of purpose. A sense of belonging can also help us to cope with stress and difficult situations. It can help us to feel less alone and more connected to others. It can help us to feel more confident and secure in our relationships. To build resilience in Missionary families, a sense of belonging must pervade the challenges they will face before, during, and after the transition.


Missionary families face a unique challenge when it comes to finding a sense of belonging. As they move from place to place, often living in different countries and cultures, they can struggle to find a sense of home and community. This can be especially difficult for children, who may feel disconnected from their peers and unable to form meaningful relationships. The sense of belonging is an important part of a person’s identity and can be a source of strength and security. For missionary families, this can be difficult to achieve. They may feel like outsiders in their new home, unable to connect with the local culture or language. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can be difficult to overcome.


One way to help missionary families find a sense of belonging is to create a sense of community. Church families can provide access to achievable and meaningful activities that will keep them connected and involved in their hometown church. From regularly scheduled online video gatherings to regular support calls, local churches, and church families can actively seek ways to bridge the physical distance that missionary families will inevitably face and provide comfort and familiarity in a time of great transition. Moreover, church families can provide a wealth of resources for missionary families: from prayer networks, advocacy and mentoring, and donation of needed supplies to simply offering a listening ear. Networking within the church will often uncover former missionary families who have faced similar challenges and can offer valuable advice and support. In addition to offering their love and support before departure, church families can remain a valuable resource to missionary families once they are situated in their new homes. Many churches will maintain contact with the families overseas, and churches can work together to share resources, news, and events that can bring the families closer, even from afar.


Finally, it is important to remember that finding a sense of belonging is a process. It takes time and effort, and it is important for both missionary families and their home churches to be patient and understanding. It is also important to remember that everyone’s experience is different, and it is okay to feel lost and confused sometimes. Missionary families face a unique challenge when it comes to finding a sense of belonging. However, creating a sense of community and connection with patience and understanding is possible. By connecting with other missionary families, joining an online community, getting involved in the local community, and being patient and understanding, missionary families can find a sense of belonging and connection. Home churches can play a major role in providing a healthy transition for missionary families. If you or your church would like more information on how to provide missionary care and support to your missionaries, please contact us at info@compass-ministries.org



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