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September 6, 2006

Armed robbery at home and on the road, civil and religious rioting, serious car accidents, death of a child or spouse, house fires, kidnapping/car jacking, emergency evacuation from a country, life-threatening illness, rape, personal assault – such are the critical incidents that happen to missionaries around the globe and with increasing frequency. Surprised? Unfortunately, most of these have occurred in Jos, Nigeria within the past five years to our fellow missionaries.

Over the past several years Rosie has been a part of a ministry known as Member Care.  Member Care involves coming along side fellow missionaries as a source of emotional support, physical assistance, and encouragement during difficult times.

Several years ago a group of missionaries in Jos felt the need to band together to reach out to one another during crisis events and difficult circumstances. Mission organizations around the world have recognized the need in recent years to better care for their missionaries. This may involve ongoing pastoral care or assistance during a crisis event.  Yet, often one’s mission headquarters in the sending country desires to help, but due to distance, immediate intervention is often impossible.

Sensing the need to help ourselves, several missionaries from various organizations met and organized a Jos member care team.  Over the years we have met to continually assess our needs, educate and equip ourselves, evaluate our strengths and giftedness, in order to enable us to serve one another.  Presently we meet monthly with each mission organization sending their representatives.  Little did we know at the time of our inception what was in store for the Jos community over the next several years.

To be trained as a Peer Responder, Rosie attended a workshop in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in 2002.  Rosie was equipped to be a proactive, compassionate care giver to a victim of a traumatic event.  The training included basics of crisis care, assessment of victims, the “how to’s” of a critical incident debrief and referral.  Since that time, Rosie has used her training to debrief individuals who have experienced assault during armed robbery in their homes, car jacking, and political unrest involving evacuation, to name a few.

In October Rosie will attend a follow-up workshop in Accra, Ghana, for further training.  Thank you for making this ministry possible through your partnership with us.

Bearing one another’s burdens,

Tom & Rosie