God has taken us to some of the least desirable places on Earth. We've been floored to discover in every one of them there are Christians working in the trenches, loving people, bringing them hope, rebuilding lives…often at great cost to themselves and their families.
Yet, the stark reality is that less than half of workers who serve as fully trained international workers remain on the field more than five years. Why?
Crossing cultural boundaries with the gospel of Christ often entails:
Leaving family and friends
Living without the comforts of home culture
- Learning a new language and cultural norms
Physical ailments and stresses
Struggling to have enough financial support to stay at the work
Political and cultural hostilities
Isolation, loneliness, discouragement
- Unique needs for being single in a foreign culture
Fearing for the safety of children or spouse
- Educational needs for children
Lacking the tools or resources necessary to meet the vast needs that exist
And that's just a sampling.
Isaiah 61 records God’s directive to those who were returning to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity of the Jews. Clearly, they were being sent back not only to carry out the work of rebuilding the wall, the city and the temple, but to bring God’s healing into the lives of His people who were facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The call was:
...to bind up the brokenhearted…to comfort all who mourn…to bestow on them a crown of beauty…the oil of gladness…a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations….And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. — Isaiah 61:1–6
That metaphor captures the essence of Catalyst Int'l.