Core Challenges for Aid/Mission Workers
- Pessimism--loosing perspective on the good things in life, due largely to the ongoing exposure to human problems and misery
- Staying centered--remaining connected with oneself in the midst of many responsibilities and the demands of living; and remaining connected with God
- Focusing on others' interest--self-preoccupation to the exclusion of others’ needs; not checking in to see how other people around us are doing
- Forgiveness--holding on to perceived injustices which arise from conflict with colleagues, the host culture, frustration with oneself, etc.
- Drifting--getting off the main tasks and the reason why we work in aid/mission, via distractions, interruptions, avoiding responsibility, etc.
- Transitional grief--the pain from saying many good-byes, multiple moves, missing loved ones, unresolved relationship issues, etc.
- Contentment--being satisfied in knowing that one is following his/her values, in spite of minimal work results, pressures to perform, and limited sense of fulfillment in one’s work
Reflection and Conversation:
- In what ways have these seven issues been part of your life?
- What helps you work through these issues?
- What other areas would you include as being core challenges?
- How do these issues relate to the research on stress and adjustment?