At its core, Barnabas International is focused on the spiritual and emotional health of God's global servants. Although the ministries of our staff are diverse, each one has a passion for walking alongside and encouraging those who are serving the Lord in full-time ministry in cross-cultural situations. These include overseas workers, those preparing to leave their home cultures, national pastors and leaders, other member care providers, and homeland workers.
Barnabas staff always strive to provide a safe environment and a listening ear for workers to share their stories with someone outside of their organization and/or work environment. Most of our staff have lived overseas for extended periods of time and have first-hand experience of the unique challenges and stressors faced by global workers.
This "walking alongside" can take many forms. Here are the primary ways that we seek to encourage global servants:
Many Barnabas staff travel regularly to different parts of the world to encourage individuals, families, or groups of families in that region. We believe that it is helpful to not only see the workers in their "native" environment, but also to meet their coworkers and see first-hand the ministries they are involved in. One of our primary ministry models includes ongoing, regular visits to the same region(s) to build trust with, listen, encourage, and support the workers there.
Barnabas does not charge for these visits; however, it is often helpful for the parent organization of the workers being served to assist with in-country costs and/or airfare in order to make it more financially feasible for the Barnabas staff to make repeat visits.
Regular Video Meetings
It is common for Barnabas staff to supplement their on-field visits with regular meetings through the use of technology such as Skype, Facetime, and WebEx. The purpose of these meetings is generally to provide on-going spiritual and emotional care and to provide a safe place for global workers to process their experiences on the field.
Retreats & Conferences
Barnabas offers various events and conferences around the world to meet the unique needs of global servants. The staff of Barnabas are rooted in many different life experiences and a variety of professional backgrounds. They are experienced in speaking at Bible conferences, leadership retreats, relational seminars, prayer retreats, pastoral retreats, marriage enrichment seminars, and a variety of other meetings.
Here are some of the retreats and conferences we offer:
Our staff has extensive experience speaking at regional “on-the-field” conferences with a wide variety of denominational groups and sending organizations. These meetings are designed to minister to the whole group as well as to individual lives. Over the years Barnabas has ministered to global workers and national church leaders by offering a variety of subjects and topics that apply to specific field situations.
MK & Family Services
Barnabas is committed to families in global ministry and believes that all children are a vital part of their families. For that reason, we have a specialized ministry focused on nurturing and caring for these third-culture/missionary kids (TCKs/MKs), as well as their family life. Our desire is to come alongside parents to encourage, equip, and edify their children.
Barnabas has many staff members who have lived overseas and raised their own children overseas. They are capable of assisting families on the field and in their home cultures regarding issues relating to the needs of their children. They can help by providing assistance with issues such as educational options, raising resilient TCKs, transition, separation, reentry, cultural adjustment, and much more.
Each year, Barnabas offers TCK/MK reentry seminars in partnership with the Narramore Christian Foundation. These seminars are designed for high school graduates who are headed back to North America to attend college or join the work force.
Barnabas offers college-age TCKs/MKs encouragement through the ministry of MuKappa. Its motto is "By MKs for MKs," helping TCKs/MKs embrace their past while building toward their future.
Effective debriefing and personal renewal are integral elements in the long-term health of all cross-cultural workers and their families—not just for those who have experienced extreme trauma. Many times global workers go through difficult transitions when returning to their countries of origin. Feelings of disillusionment, frustration, isolation, and lack of understanding are far too common, and without a safe place to process those feelings, these essential global workers will either become less effective or drop out of missions all together.
Many of our Barnabas staff are trained debriefers and offer these services both on the field, and during home assignment. Our Interlude Debriefing Retreat is one of the options available to those on home assignment.
(debriefing definition courtesty of MTI.org)
Christian leaders often need a neutral party to help them think through issues they are facing in their personal or family lives. Many Barnabas staff have either a pastoral or clinical counseling background. They are able to "come alongside" and listen carefully to the situation and to explore the possibilities for continued growth.
The counseling ministry of Barnabas is founded on biblical principles and strives to meet both spiritual and emotional needs. Our professionally trained staff provide counsel to global workers, national Christian workers, and their families abroad and here in the United States on matters of personal concern. Counselees generally express a desire for help through direct contact with our counseling staff members or are referred from their mission administrators or other Barnabas staff members.