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RENEW: Refreshment for Weary Workers

RENEW: Refreshment for Weary Workers

Workers serve on the front lines of the spiritual battle waged for the hearts of nations. Periodically, they need time to step away and process. They need rest and refreshment. To help workers thrive, Christar hosts a restorative retreat called RENEW. Offered three times a year, these five days of refreshment provide support and care for workers while they are in the U.S. for home assignment. Workers periodically participate in RENEW throughout their years of service, giving the Member Care team at the Christar Mobilization Center U.S. (CMCUS) a regular opportunity to connect personally with each one.

Transformation isn’t a quick makeover. Transformation is lasting change.

Christ-honoring transformation is cultivated. It requires planting, watering and tending the gospel seed that has been scattered across the hearts of those who don’t yet know the One who knows them completely. It is the work of breaking up hard ground and meeting people in their stories of brokenness. It is a daily process. Days of waiting to see growth may turn to years. Those years may seem to last an eternity. But eternity is where we look.

To gain perspective.

As they cultivate transformation and invest themselves with patience and endurance, it is no secret that workers need to occasionally step back. They need perspective, to gaze out across the fields of the harvest of the nations and remember what is true and what will last. This is one primary purpose of home assignments or furloughs.

But for workers returning to their home culture, the stress of transition, the desire to share their experiences and the need to process all that has happened overseas can pull them in many directions at once. One Christar worker described it like this: “You step off the airplane, and it feels like you’ve landed on another plane of existence. Once upon a time, this was familiar. You come back spent, stretched, worn thin, and then the shock of your own culture hits you. It’s good to be back. It’s exciting, sharing stories about what God is doing, but it’s isolating at the same time. You start to wonder, ‘Does anyone really understand?’”

To hear and be heard.

Through RENEW, we help our workers counter the effects of stress and burnout. Workers need time and space for intentional reflection, to listen to God’s voice, to share their stories and be heard. Spending time with others who are walking a similar path strengthens them and their ministries. Even children have a specially tailored program to help them through re-entry and give them opportunities to tell their stories to those who can help them understand their experiences. After a recent RENEW retreat, one worker commented, “Being at RENEW gave me the time and space to honestly evaluate and process our last term and to look ahead with a fresh sense of faith and excitement for what God has planned.”

To grow and to know.

Michael Anderson*, Director of Member Care at the CMCUS, explains, “Our focus in Member Care is on how to retain workers, to keep them holy, hardy and in harmony with each other.” RENEW provides training and resources to help workers stay strong, healthy and whole. “We are there for them in times of crisis, but our main focus is helping before trouble comes. We accomplish that in part by helping workers learn and practice good self-care. Self-care is about awareness and honesty before God,” says Anderson.

We love results. But it’s not about us. It’s about what God is doing in us, in relation to Him. In the end, He is faithful!”
– Michael Anderson, Director of Member Care at the Christar Mobilization Center, U.S.

Being transformed.

Suddenly or slowly, through joy or sorrow, Christar is committed to cultivating lasting transformation in least-reached communities around the world. When knowing God and His love is at the center of our lives, it ripples outward through every layer of our being. It overflows into the lives around us—wherever we live and serve. We are each being transformed and renewed for the worship and glory of the Savior who loved us unto death, and yet lives forevermore! Transformation begins and ends with the love of God, a love that renews day by day and never ends.

Participate by Praying:

  • Ask God to keep workers on the field spiritually and physically strong and healthy. Pray for protection from spiritual attacks, physical danger and discouragement.
  • Pray that workers will remain rooted in the love of God as they serve. Ask Him to use their lives to bring transformation in least-reached communities around the world.
  • Pray that the Member Care Department will serve workers well, providing support for them when they are “home” and abroad.
  • Ask God to use RENEW retreats to refresh and restore workers as they prepare for their next terms among the least-reached.

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