Repost: Are You Listening? Really Listening?

Clearing Customs

[My family is moving across town this week, so I haven’t been able to work on the blog much lately. So here’s a repost from about a year and a half ago. This transition thing can feel like Frost’s “miles to go before I sleep.” But until that rest comes, I’ll look for a park bench along the way.]

Finding good listeners is very important to missionaries. In fact, when member-care trainer Brenda Bosch surveyed missionaries about what they wanted from their mission agency, the top answer was “someone to listen to me.”

German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes that listening is necessary in Christian community. He calls it the “first service” that Christians owe each other:

Just as our love for God begins with listening to God’s Word, the beginning of love for other Christians is learning to listen to them. God’s love for us is shown by the fact that God not only…

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April 2014 Updates

A lot going on. Here is some.

1. Our Disaster Response team (partnership of PBTS and Bukal Life Care) is continuing its work in the Visayas particularly with Stress debriefing. They will return to Baguio on April 9th.

2. March 24. Bukal Life Care (led by Cori and Jehny) are training AV-STM missionary trainees in “Basic First Aid” and “The Baggage Cart.” AV-STM will send out its “STMers” in April.

3. March 26. We start CPE 2014 Summer Intensive.

4. March 31. Didactics start CPE. Monday (March 31), we will be presenting an Introduction to Pastoral Care. The focus will be on (1) The roles of pastoral care from a historical standpoint, (2) an overview of the Clinical Pastoral Care movement, and (3) present models for relating psychology and theology in counseling. It will start at 8:30am and continue until 11:30am. Although this seminar is primarily for CPE trainees as their first Didactic, others are welcome to join if they wish. It will be held at Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary, Baguio City. There is no charge, but we would appreciate letting us know if you are attending. Text 0933-302-0373.

Training in Guindulman

We have a partnership with PBTS (both seminary and student council) for work in the Visayas. The first step was to do training in Guindulman, Bohol. The team includes Alexis, a member of the staff of Bukal. Joylene, who has been a trainee of Bukal, assisted. From PBTS, Ptr. Ronnie, Fritz, and Jeremiah (JB) joined. This was done in partnership with Vis-Con Southern Baptist Churches (represented and supported by Ptr. Rolly, and Dr. Erlyn). Ptr. Erwin from Guildulman served as host along with his church. 1558457_860227857327046_1302833837_n 22 trainees from all over Bohol joined. Training from Bukal was primarily in pastoral care, crisis care (and psychological first aid), and teaching methods. PBTS and Vis-Con supported training in church planting, church growth, discipleship, and Baptist Distinctives. The training went well. Following the training, two had to continue on to other work. However, Alexis, Fritz, and JB continue their work in crisis care (in response to the earthquake and typhoon in the Visayas in late 2013). They will be in Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, and Iloilo for the next two weeks in this work. Guindulman 1

What is “Life Care

Okay, have to admit the term “Life Care” is somewhat of a made-up term. Of course there are a lot of mad-up terms that have become accepted ways of describing different types of care. For us, the expression describes much of what we do, and can be divided into three broad areas of care:

1. Pastoral Care. Pastoral Care is a broad term for care within a faith context. There are four broad categories that pastoral care cover. These are:

  • Healing
  • Guidinglife care
  • Sustaining
  • Reconciling

2.  Crisis Care.  Crisis Care focuses on lives  torn apart due to major loss, disaster (particularly group or community disasters), and trauma. The focus is on defusing, debriefing, and education. Care applies to primary victims, secondary victims, and “hidden” victims.

3.  Member Care. Member Care covers the broad network of support associated with the life cycle of a professional in ministry (and family and team). Most commonly, member care here relates to missionaries or ministry professionals.

You could say that Crisis Care is Pastoral Care for those suffering from excessive stress or trauma. Member Care is Pastoral Care for those with long-term stress due to professional ministry.