They talk about usJune 22, 2019
Quarterly highlights – Q2 2019July 4, 2019
None of what we do would be possible without the passion and the dedication of our partners on the ground. They are indeed superheroes. They are the ones living among the people they serve and weeping with them. They are the ones visiting the widows, and teaching the orphans, witnessing daily deep misery and injustice. In such a context, it is very easy to become overwhelmed not just with the workload, but with the emotional burden which often comes from working with the most destitute.
Spotlight on the real heroes
As MERATH, we deeply believe in the added value of working through local churches and other faith-based partners. By being in the middle of the community they serve, they can provide help while forging deep relationships. They don’t just hand out the assistance, they generously give of their time, they visit the families, offer a listening ear, show compassion and love to people who desperately need it. None of what we do would be possible without their heart for those people, and their passionate and dedicated work.
And what they get in return is just as precious as what they give: they see hope in despair, light in darkness, joy in sadness, pardon in injury. This is what they say keeps them going.
Still, we know how easy and quick one can become overwhelmed not just with the workload, but with the emotional and spiritual burden which often comes from working with the most destitute.
Even superheroes need rest
Our partners are superheroes, but even superheroes need to recharge their batteries from time to time. As MERATH, we want them to take the time to pause and reflect, come together, encourage and support one another, and learn some tips to build self-care into their life and work.
In May and June 2019, we held several one-day retreats, benefiting a total of 95 local partner staff. Each retreat included a Biblical reflection on the theme of rest, games and crafts, a time to pray for one another and for our countries, and free time for personal reflection, all in a nice environment.
The days also included debrief sessions in small groups with a psychologist, which most of the participants found very helpful. 65% said they would like to benefit from similar sessions on-site for their teams, and 63 % said they would be interested in one-to-one counselling or support if this was available.
Overall, we received very encouraging feedback and our partners seem to have been able to relax and rest and really enjoyed spending time together in this setting.
Thank you for thinking of our well-being. We really needed this time out!
This day helped us feel as though God is with us and there are people thinking of us.
We are thankful for your support and this wonderful day with each other.
Today was very beneficial. Every time we are learning something new and meeting new people. Now I have several prayer topics for the brothers and sisters I met today. Together we can accomplish many things and overcome many challenges!
HELP US TAKE GOOD CARE OF OUR PARTNERS ON THE FIELD
> Send a word of encouragement
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life”.