For the last twelve years, CrossRoads has enjoyed the friendship of a like-minded nonprofit, Serge. All you need to hear is their tagline “Grace at the fray” and you will
recognize our shared value for loving people in the messiness of life. For the third time,
CrossRoads will send a group of eleven therapists to Serge’s company conference in
Spain, offering pro bono counseling to 450 workers serving in 26 countries throughout the world.
I had a chance to catch up with a friend who happens to be a Serge volunteer as well as a CrossRoads supporter. Over a warm slice of raspberry bread I asked her where her passion for missions started. She paused, reflected, then said, “I think like many, at first it was out of “Christian duty.” But, over time, it has come out of gratitude. I know it sounds cliche, but I know what it’s like to be lost. It’s kind of like why I’m a supporter of counseling. I know what it’s like to be lonely.”
That struck me as a great way to sum up what a counseling center and a missions organization have in common. The most frequent struggle that we’ve heard consistently in over a decade of counseling people working abroad is loneliness. Surprisingly, it cuts across all demographics – single people, married people, children who moved abroad with their parents. It’s that deep ache of longing to be with people who really know you, get your inside jokes and don’t care if you come over in your sweatpants.
Those who choose to leave the comfort of home to start micro-businesses or provide remote medical care, find that those who knew them at home can no longer identify with their experiences; those who came with them are preoccupied with their own adjustment; and those they serve have a fundamentally different cultural experience. That’s why we are so passionate about counseling missionaries – week after week, conference after conference. Those who left behind everything to find the lost need to be seen, known and restored so they can continue to seek and find – week after week, year after year.
While Serge graciously provides food and lodging for therapists as they spend the week providing free counseling, all volunteers commit to paying for their airfare, and give up a week of income while they are away. If you would like to contribute to the cost of airfare or the revenue shortage that each of these therapists will incur as they serve a week abroad, please use the ‘Donate’ button on the bar at the top of the screen.