Depression Among International Missionaries

4937 WordsFeb 28, 201120 Pages
Running Head: DEPRESSION AMONG MISSIONARIES Depression Among International Missionaries Jonathan E. Sullivan Liberty University Abstract Missionaries have a unique calling accompanied by unique challenges over the course of their service. As these individuals and families face these challenges, depression can be an enemy that hinders and even stops the good work they perform. While most of the time a professional counselor can be seen in the United States to help with depression, a therapist may not be so readily available in remote parts of the world. This paper looks at the factors that may lead to depression for those on the mission field and some preventative measures that may be taken to avoid major depression. The well being…show more content…
Still, Carey pressed on recognizing that “a price must be paid for their success”. However, the reality is that for the missionary today on the foreign field, when persecution, loneliness, despair, frustration, and temptation manifest themselves it can take its toll physically and psychologically. In Luke 14:28, the Lord instructs in the biblical text to count the cost of an endeavor before you undertake it. This not only should be done financially, but emotionally, physically, and psychologically as well. It is recognized that wherever God calls He will give that individual and family what they need holistically to accomplish the task at hand. At the same time, a call to serve is a call to prepare oneself for service and it should be recognized that there are always consequences to our decisions. This preparation time includes not only a seminary education and experience in ministry, but psychological stability is paramount for these missionaries. Many sending agencies have a thorough psychological screening process in place and some do not. Hall & Sweatman (2002) recognize that psychological assessment is only one piece of a larger assessment strategy for the missionary candidate. Along with the psychological issues to be tested are the assessment of doctrinal unity with the sending agency, a unity in the vision of the mission work, and proven leadership just to name a few areas. This same research by Hall & Sweatman (2002) also understood that the
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