Guest Writer: Oliver Dossman
Growing up as a Missionary Kid in Ecuador, I remember Home Ministry Assignments (furlough) very well. We travelled thousands of miles, visited family and friends, presented our work in churches, and were often faced with the need to raise financial support. I could see that my parents were exhausted, and while the relationships being nurtured were valuable, it was sometimes at the expense of their wellbeing. As a kid I had no idea that one day I would lead a ministry to help missionaries on furlough. As I look back now, it’s obvious to me that God was preparing me for this task all along.
Before founding Mission to Missionaries we did some research and found that of the more than ten thousand missionaries who are on furlough at any given time in the United States, only five percent take the time to rest. Many are exhausted when they return to their field of service, yet their work has piled up while they were away. When asked why they don’t take the time to rest, 65% of missionaries said they could not afford a retreat center or similar facility. More than half also said they were not aware of any missionary retreat centers.
To help meet the need for a missionary-minded retreat center, Mission to Missionaries is building EdenRidge near Crossville in East Tennessee. The key word at EdenRidge is rest. For some, rest may mean staying put at EdenRidge while enjoying the calm and serene surroundings. For others, it may mean time as a family enjoying some of the great parks and attractions in the area. After a stay at EdenRidge, our prayer is that missionaries will be well rested, renewed, and ready to continue their furlough or return to their field of service.