After five years of training and preparation we finally made it to Thailand.
The field we had dreamed about for nearly two decades. The couple who introduced us to that country—the ones we had prayed for and supported for years, who were close personal friends and who challenged us to join them in their work—met us as we arrived. Jet-lagged, fuzzy-headed, bleary-eyed. Excited, bewildered, nervous, eager to get started.
There was no warning for what we were about to hear: Our friends were being sent back to the U.S.
That message cut the jet-lag fog like nothing else could. We learned the husband had been involved in inappropriate behavior with one of the women on staff — a Thai national. When she turned him in, the response was swift and decisive: You must leave the field.
That was our harsh introduction to the need for member care.
How could this happen? What had transpired in that man’s life that led to such a moral breach? Why had no one seen the warning signs (or responded to the ones they did see)? Where were the people on the field who could help him and his family recover, heal, find hope and joy again? How was sending them back to their passport country an answer?
And they were just the beginning.
Over the course of our seven and a half years in Thailand we watched 98 co-workers leave.
Some for legitimate reasons, but most not. So depleted in their souls that spiritual suicide seemed like their only option.
Hello. We are Dave and Irene Lewis, shepherds of global workers. We’re telling you our story so you’ll know that we understand the challenges of life in a cross-cultural environment. We have come to care deeply for those who serve in difficult places, and we want to use our empathy and our experience to bring encouragement and hope into their lives.
But we are deeply aware that the needs of the harvest force far outweigh our skills and capacity.
That’s why we are recruiting people like you to join us in creating a culture of care. Our friends and relatives who represent the Lord are simply too precious to neglect.
Far beyond helping them survive in their ministries, we want to see them thrive. And we are convinced that, with your help, we can make that happen.