Dear Jack, I am a 44 year ...

Anne asked:

Dear Jack, I am a 44 year old, American, single female. I have a background in counseling and social work. I am wondering if you know which missions organizations might be better than others for single people. Often in the Body Of Christ, it is akward to be single because everything is so couples and family oriented. I wish I were married, but this is the way it is for now. I have been on the mission field (China) for a period of one year. I loved it, but the loneliness did get to me. I was placed with only one other English speaking missionary, who was not very good at listening or having two way conversations. This only served to intensify the loneliness after a while. I want to go out on the mission field again, but I don't want to feel so "single". Any feedback for me? (besides "get a life and stop complaining". I don't mean to, really. I just want to be in a situation that I can last more than a year in next time I go out). Thanks

Jack Answered:

Thanks, Anne, for sharing your interest in serving the Lord overseas. Your experience of loneliness reminds me that the Lord Himself said that it is not good for [one] to be alone; and in His own ministry, he sent out His disciples two by two. The Book of Acts also illustrates this principle: Acts records no instances of Christians serving the Lord alone.

I would encourage you to explore other agencies, particularly those who emphasize ministry in teams. Two such (of many) are: World Harvest Mission (info@whm.org) and Frontiers (info@us.frontiers.org).

Another detail that may be relevant in your case has to do with language. Most people discover that it is more difficult to learn a language the older they get. Places like the Orient or the Middle East present very difficult language challenges, in contrast to Latin America or even Europe. All language learning is a strain, but some are easier than others for us whose native language is English. Agencies like the Latin America Mission (info@lam.org) have contacts all over Latin America as well as Spain. The more fluent we get to be in the language of the context where we is serving, the less dependent for fellowship we have to be on our own colleagues.

May the Lord guide you on your next assignment and help you find a team where you can both give as well as receive fellowship.

Jack

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