10 Things I’d Rather Not Hear When I’m Hurting

Clearing Customs

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“Every time there’s transition, there is loss. So when people are feeling strange about their situation I ask them, ‘What did you lose?’ Because where there’s loss, there’s grief.” —Ruth Van Reken, author of Third Culture Kids

The losses involved with cross-cultural transitions are many, and not all will be voiced as simple answers to the question “What do you miss the most?” They include relationships, dreams, purpose, status, identity, and some things that defy labels.

When someone is grieving a loss—whether of a loved one or of opportunities or of “home”—we tend to search for something to say rather than for a chance to listen. And when we speak, we too often don’t invite the person to express her sadness. Instead, we say what we hope will make the grief go away.

Why are we so uncomfortable with grief? Of course, we don’t like for our friends to be sad, but how often does our discomfort also come from not wanting…

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Visioning Weekend


We held a gathering of staff and trustees of Bukal Life Care on August 31 and September 1st. Thirteen attended. We were hosted at the Mission Center of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in Baguio City. A number of issues were dealt with.

A few items:

1.  Priorities. We are actively involved in a number of ministries… far more than our group can handle well with our limited financial and human resources. Based on our brainstorming, the following were identified as priorities:

  • Clinical Pastoral Training (CPE/CPT). Hospital ministry
  • Disaster Response Training, and crisis response work
  • Pastoral Care Training and Ministry

2.  Ladderization. Develop training programs that are all of certification and progression.  For example, for Disaster Response:

DR Training Program3.  Improve our financial structure and office management.

There are more things… but this is a good start for now. We are so thankful to those who joined and added insights. We are also appreciative of our great hosts.

September/October Activities

–Staff meeting.Thursday, September 11. 11am. Review of visioning
meeting and plans of action.
-CPSP planning meeting. September 17, 1pm
–Baguio Chapter (CPSP). September 18-19. 8am and onward.
-Video and Discussion, “Healing the Shame that Binds You.” Thursday,
September 18, 6:30pm.
-Korea trip and training. October 4-13
-Parents Congress. Saturday, October 11..
-Pastoral Care Conference (Pasig City). October 17-19.