Explore Panel: "What has been the hardest part of living and working overseas?"
August 2022
There is a lot to missionary life. Here are some of our missionary panel's most difficult aspects of life and ministry in this month’s Explore News!

Always Away from People You Love

"It is difficult to be away from friends and family, and as you grow close to the people on the field, you miss them during home service times. This means that you are always away from people that you love.  The other thing that is really difficult is related to language learning. Even after many years on the field, I feel like it is difficult to fully express myself in my second language. I can't joke the same, I often feel stupid and it even feels like your whole personality is different. It is very humbling to feel so inadequate, and very challenging to all our thoughts about who we are. There is a good side to this, but it is very difficult."

Minding the Gap of Identity

"The process of acculturation is dealing with the cultural differences experienced when entering into a new culture. These differences create gaps and it is easy to fall into them or trip over them in the process. Identity also morphs as this process continues. These gaps and shifting foundations of identity can be confusing, overwhelming, isolating, exciting, and disorientating. Finding my place in all of this shifting has been difficult for me."

Man and Boy Fishing
What part of missionary life do you think you would find to be most difficult?
Photo by: Doug H., Missionary in Thailand

Never Fully Adjusted

"Missing people and events, big and small, in your home culture is difficult. Cultural adjustment is also difficult, and always in a cycle or spectrum. There is a time when you get through the biggest parts of adjustment, but you never really are 'fully' adjusted because the culture will always be different than your own. Some days its more frustrating than others."

Maybe their experiences have prompted you to take your next step on your missions journey. We’d love to talk to you about it!

• Find out how you can become a SEND missionary.

• Explore where and how you can serve with SEND

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