There is a deep bond that forms between people who have spent much of their lives overseas, particularly if they worked in the same country. Ah, the stories they can tell! One Challenge has started a new periodical called There and Back Again. It is a forum for OC Alumni to get in touch with one another and tell their tales. The first edition debuted in July to a distribution list of 200. It was warmly welcomed and produced more names to add to the list of alumni. The second edition went out in October.
Alumni Member Care Post
It has long been the desire of OC to continue to journey with our global workers after they return to the USA. Dick Pearson started alumni-type care in the early days of OC. When the offices moved to Colorado Springs about 20 years ago, Don Boesel began staying in touch with OC alumni with visits, letters, and emails. Now Jim and Sue De Vries (returned from a final assignment in Cyprus) are happy to take this new post being called Alumni Member Care.
This post includes walking with those transitioning back to their home culture or transferring to a new field assignment. Jim and Sue, One Challenge workers with 15 years experience caring for global workers, are available for debriefing as well as offering help in preparing for retirement. Sue says, “When mission workers return after years living as expats, they find that few people want to hear about their lives. They must start over with new relationships and friends who know nothing of their former lives. Their past life must be hidden away in their hearts. So what a pleasure it is to reconnect with old colleagues who knew your kids, who understand the joys and challenges and sacrifices made in order to help the church in developing countries.”
Next May, One Challenge is hosting its first-ever Alumni Homecoming retreat for old friends. Former global workers, staff, board member, or any who were part of OC for more than two years and feel a bond with us are invited. Join us for 3 days at St. Francis Retreat Center in Colorado Springs. We will have a time of fellowship, catch up, worship and prayer with one another. You can also reconnect with the U.S. Mobilization Center personnel. The hope and plan is to make this an annual event, inviting any and all former and current workers to gather and encourage one another. “We call it coming home,” say Jim and Sue. “The purpose is not just to indulge in nostalgia, but to also encourage each other to finish well, to remember God’s faithfulness, and to celebrate the privilege it has been to minister cross culturally.”
Want to reconnect?
Would you like to receive the free publication There and Back Again? Want to come to the Alumni Homecoming Retreat? Or if you just want to reconnect with One Challenge, contact Jim and Sue at: Alumni@oci.org.
One Challenge is an international mission sending agency empowering local church ministry in more than 100 countries around the world. One Challenge wants to encourage a high level of care for global workers, providing the opportunity for them to thrive in their countries of service, bringing the best of who they are to the kingdom growth effort. We pursue genuine relationships and accountability in family, friendship, team, ministry, and local communities of faith.