You can survive, even grow, whichever mission field you are on, whatever the circumstances, however, you need to make sure your emotional needs are met.

Do you ever feel that you have been shipwrecked and ended up on a desert island? People surround you, yet you still have a deep sense of loneliness. If so then you are going through what many expats experience when they are first shipped abroad. You have needs, emotional needs, that must be met for you as a missionary or expat to survive.

Identify What You Need

Identifying our needs can be a huge help in finding our feet on foreign soil. We do need to recognise that we may not share the same priorities as our spouse.  Perhaps there is something we place as a high priority, but our spouse doesn’t rate it as important at all. Remember many couples meet the experience of living abroad from very different perspectives. You may be enjoying the challenges every new day brings, while your spouse is miserable and longs for security.

Make a Priority List

It is important to talk about what is top of your priority list. When we were on missionary training, we were asked to identify five things we couldn’t live without, (assuming that the spiritual aspect is already your top priority).

This isn’t a ‘Desert Island Discs’ list. It is a list of those things that are essential to your survival and sanity living on the field.

Here are my top 5

  1. Communication. The need to reconnect with home and also connect with the locals.
  2. Transportation. I don’t like to feel as though I am stranded.
  3. Community. It is important I feel part of life around me.
  4. Countryside. This is my escape when things get stressful.
  5. Security. Knowing that we were safe.

Roy’s top five are quite different. What are your top five?

Bringing Worlds Together Book

Many couples struggle to get on the same page in marriage. Whether you are newlyweds or have been married for years Bringing Worlds Together will help you blend together. Expect to learn more about your spouse, gain insight and be challenged.

Are you ready to move closer rather than drift apart?

Available in print and ebook formats.

Adjusting Expectations Book

No-one enters marriage expectation free. Adjusting Expectations helps identify how expectations were formed and whether or not they were realistic. Most expectations need some adjustment; they are often too high but can also be set too low. The good news is expectations can be reset!

Find out what you should expect and what God expects from you.

Available in print and ebook formats.

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