Personal Trials Create Deeper Ministry

Our Life Impact Staff are missionaries too.  They go out to establish an Oasis to care for Christian Workers.  But they also have the same needs the missionaries do.  They wrestle with the same issues.  There’s a value in that, however.  It puts them in the same boat as those to whom they minister.

globe-32299_1280“A couple nights ago Mark was awake for almost 4 hours in the middle of the night. One of the many things nagging his mind and heart was ‘Why do we have to do all this? Why do we have to go through the daily struggles of being here? Home seems so nice right now.’ I (Sarah) too have hit a season of questions and inner struggles.

Perhaps it’s the change in schedule, Mark is now studying the local language 10 hours a week and I changed from 8 hours to 4; perhaps it’s the unpleasant weather, humid and hazy, with blue sky being a rare treat; perhaps it’s the enduring lack of beauty and the stark contrast to what I know I’m missing back home; perhaps, in combination with the others, it’s my desire for my Father, the source of all good things.

On Sunday I heard my heart say: ‘Come spirit, we are lost without you….’ Indeed, I feel a bit lost. I feel thirsty and weary from the journey.

My soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Ps 69.1
He will drink from a brook beside the way; therefore he will lift up his head. Ps 110.7

Funny how the big man often does something in us, so that we can genuinely care for someone else in the same way.  We are experiencing what so many others here experience. So, instead of avoiding it and hoping it will go away (well, I do that too) I try to plumb the depths.

I need and want to respond to my discouragement. What is God doing in me? Why does the weather bother me? What am I longing for in my soul? Why am I missing home so much these days?  Can we really experience that same soulful relaxation and physical refreshment here where the surroundings are anything but relaxing and refreshing? I suppose the answer is yes, and so I keep seeking.

I’ve been reading Found: A Story of Questions, Grace and Everyday Prayer by Micha Boyett. In it I found this quote:

‘The antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest.
The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness.’

Quoted from Crossing the Unknown Sea by David Whyte

Wholeheartedness, Lord, that is what we long for. Grant us wholeness of heart through Your presence and great love.

The three-in-one wants to refresh us: our family, you, your family, those you encounter today and those we care for here. May each of us receive his refreshment in the ways we need it.  May others receive from us  as we work with them, especially the group of local shepherds we are meeting with at the end of July!”


About Dave Grissen

David & Sheri Grissen spent 44 years in mission and humanitarian aid work. In 2003 they established Life Impact, a ministry of strengthening Christian workers in hosted centers, called Oases. Presently 12 Oases are functioning. In 2016 they started Fund The Ministry to help missionaries create new funding for their ministries. They have five married children and fifteen grandchildren.
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