Heidi had sensed God’s call to serve her host country. She had found an agency that accepted her as a member, and she had raised the necessary funds and prayer support. She learned the language and the culture so that she could live there. She had entered the country as a medical provider and was effective in serving the nationals there.
She had adequate access to the Internet so that she could keep contact with friends and family through email and through Facebook, but something very important was missing. Communicating with people back home was simply not like talking with them face-to-face and being able to touch them, to give them a hug. She was not married and was the only person serving in that country with her agency.
It seemed like all the other expats could fit in a group. Most people had a natural group with their agency. Those who were teaching were with others in the school. Parents with children in school had natural connections with others whose children attended there. She was a chiropractor but in practice alone, so she did not even have others from the medical community. What could she do? Here are some ways she may find community and participate in it.
One of the best places for single missionaries to find community is in an international church holding services in their language. This is common in cities large enough to have a church that includes missionaries from other agencies, other expats from the business community, others from the educational community, and any others who want to worship in that language.
The major advantage of meeting in church is that most of the people attending there have interest in their Christian faith and some of them may also be looking for community with someone having the same world-view.
The major disadvantage of meeting in such a church is that those churches are usually available only in larger cities and those cities need to have a rather large expat population speaking that language.
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