God’s Mission is vital, but God works through people. So we must be concerned about the people who join God in His mission.
What percentage of returned missionaries and aid workers report psychological disorders during their time overseas or shortly after their return? What do you think? About a quarter, a third, half, two thirds, three quarters?
According to a 1997 study conducted by Debbie Lovell-Hawker of Oxford University, the answer is “about half.” More precisely, Lovell-Hawker’s findings show that among the returned missionaries and aid workers she studied,
46% reported that they had experienced a clinically diagnosed psychological disorder either while working overseas or shortly after returning to the United Kingdom.
Before I went overseas, I would have guessed much lower than half, but after I first heard this statistic referenced in a debriefing I attended, in my mind, the number began to grow much higher than 46%. Statistics have a way of doing that.
Lovell-Hawker’s research included 145 aid and development workers and missionaries from 62 organizations. Though…
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