Grit to Stay and Grace to Go
The internal wrestling begins with a whisper.
Sometimes it feels moral. Sometimes practical. Always disruptive.
—I don’t think I can work with this person.
—Who will take care of my dad?
—What if I’m happy but the rest of my family is miserable?
—I’m a little bored . . . I think the Lord is preparing me for what’s next.
If it starts for one as a whisper, on the other side, you’re the one left to pick up the pieces when teammates leave. For what feels like the 37th time, you have to explain to local friends, assume more responsibilities, and comfort your kids. All the while you’ve got your own sadness and loss to contend with.
“Staying isn’t always good and leaving isn’t always bad. Both require grit and grace. Cross-cultural ministry presents us with many difficulties like transitions, loneliness, messy relationships, and the desire to escape. The lies we believe tempt us to leave our work too soon. But nothing tests our resolve to stay like seeing others go.”
Eva Burkholder was born to Bible translators in Papua New Guinea and later became a global worker herself in Indonesia.She uses her MA in Christian Education, her training and experience as a women’s ministry director, and as a Bible college adjunct professor to enhance her study of Scripture, her teaching, and her writing. She and her husband currently live in Richardson, Texas, and oversee the wellbeing of global workers for a church planting agency.
Sue Eenigenburg graduated from Moody Bible Institute and Lancaster Bible College. She has served with Christar for more than thirty-six years. She and her husband Don have four children and twelve grandchildren. Sue has served on four different continents. Sue is the author of Screams in the Desert and More Screams, Different Deserts. She also co-authored Expectations and Burnout: Women Surviving the Great Commission and Sacred Siblings: Valuing One Another for the Great Commission.