Missionaries David & Joyce Reed
Global Coordinators of Spiritual Care, International Ministries
Cultivating a Culture of Health: Soul Care, Self-Care, & Community Care
Attention & Intention
During the month of January, we led a 4-week seminar for global servants called “Attention and Intention.” These gatherings held sacred space to ponder what God is inviting us to intentionally pay attention to in 2021. We discussed core values and vital behaviors. We examined how relationships and community, the ecosystems where we live and grow, impact our intentions. And we discussed how our calling–the unique ways God invites each of us to lean into our contexts–is unfolding in our present ministry vocation.
Last fall we led COVID-19 Discovery groups to provide space for global servants to explore and discuss how the pandemic was impacting their identity, vocation, and missiology. At its conclusion, the group decided to continue once a month in 2021. This group is now called Growing Edges and met for the first time on January 26. Topics we talked about exploring this year are grief, anger, assessing risk, decision-making during liminal space, innovation, the paradox of uncertainty & trust. Global servants spoke of the desire for safe community with people who understand their context. We acknowledged how much we need one another’s voices and support during this time.
Many global servants are sharing that holding steady during the constant pandemic turmoil is taking its toll. Holding space for grief, anxiety, uncertainty, and shifting paradigms is exhausting. We began to explore resources that enhance resiliency. How can global servants experience support so that they, in turn, can support those with whom they minister? Research reveals that the connection between spirituality and resilience achieves the following:
• Provides a framework that guides individuals through painful and joyful events.
• Contributes to life quality and meaning.
• Is a powerful coping mechanism, providing ability to adapt to changing individual needs.
• Provides people with a source of hope and comfort.
This research also stated that building community is the critical component for spiritual resilience. Overcoming adversity in isolation does not usually result in a favorable outcome. A person who can rely on others to surround, support, and encourage him or her through tough times has greater odds of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual survival.
Talking things through with people who know you, understand your context, and share the same values forms strong bonds, enhances resiliency, and creates a space for transformation. This factor of community care is why we are seeking a variety of ways to provide community through zoom until face-to-face is possible again.
• Celebration: We quarantined and took COVID-19 tests prior to Christmas so that we could safely visit with our kids during Christmas & New Years!
• Concern: Joyce tripped on a power cord, fell, and broke a bone in her right hand in early December. She got the cast off and is beginning PT to regain full range of motion in her hand & wrist.
• Celebration: Joyce submitted her DMin dissertation on December 31! Her Oral Defense will take place via Zoom on February 16, 1-3pm Pacific Time.
• Concern: One of our former students in the Masters of Theological Studies Program, Pastor Ronan de Mendonca of Brazil, died from complications due to COVID-19 this past week. Please surround his wife Rose, this family and church family in prayers.
May God hold you steady as we live into 2021.
Joyce and David