Listening to Our Global Voices
(c) IRIN, 2008. Internally displaced humans
in the Democaratic Republic of the Congo, 2008.
We are exploring member care by using brief quotes from the book, Global Member Care: The Pearls and Perils of Good Practice (published February 2011). Drawing from the metaphor from Rev. 21:21, each quote is like a huge pearl--a pearl gateway--that allows us to enter more fully into the global field of member care. https://sites.google.com/site/globalmca/
I’m a humanitarian worker living in a location in Africa that is in prime need of help/missions. I’ve experienced many types of stress as I have worked in various mission programs. The most sustained tension that I have experienced has been related to the urgency and the amount of work to be done in a potentially explosive social and political environment. The challenge here is not only to produce expected results quickly, under tense and sometimes risky circumstances. The challenge is also to deal with the constant worry about the security and health of those within my immediate world and where I, my family, and friends fall within that world….
I have another line of sustained tension that comes from belonging and yet being apart. I belong to those who are helping and to those being helped, but I’m neither an expatriate nor a beneficiary. There is a tension between my life as a national, with blood and other deep ties to those around me, and my life as an aid worker coming from the outside to help those threatened by death. It is as if I am being followed by a ghost which constantly reminds me that the needy person—for example, the displaced person in the transit camp—could have been me….
Since I am a committed Christian, a core part of my survival strategy is to keep in touch with God by communicating with Him and referring to His Word…It’s also easy to become pessimistic as we wonder why God allows wars and suffering. To keep sane, I constantly have to pray for grace and wisdom, refer to God’s commands in scripture, do my assigned duties to the best of my ability, and let God be God. I also need the support of those around me and from the organization for which I work.
(Viola Mukasa, pages 26, 27)
Reflection and Discussion
**Recall one aspect of your life/work that relates to the quote above.
**Have a go at connecting the above quote with a current international area that interests/concerns you.