Member Health Ministries
Whether in times of deep crisis or a simple need for renewal, the Member Health team works to care for the spiritual and emotional needs of missionaries and national partners around the world.
Healing through Trauma
Missionaries Jennifer Bennett and Shelley Chapman were in their home at West Africa Theological Seminary when armed robbers broke in. Within hours, they were in contact with field leaders and Ned and Marlene McGrady, pastor and counselor with Member Health. Within two weeks, Ned and Marlene were in Nigeria and helped the women process the trauma and also helped bring about solutions to prevent further invasions. Throughout the terrible experience, Jennifer and Shelley were assured of the compassionate support and help of the Member Health team. They were able to continue in ministry in Nigeria because of the care they received.
“God helps us as He shows us how we may best do His will and carry out His work among the people we are called to serve,” shared Ned, the director of Member Health. “He has us in the right place at the right time, and we sense His direction and leadership in all we do.”
A Wholistic Approach
WGM’s Member Health team seeks to equip the WGM family by raising their awareness of wholistic health through the ministry of presence, caring, encouragement, and training. This whole-person, whole-family approach promotes healthy lives and effective ministries through:
- Regular communication with missionaries and MKs through email, social media, phone, Skype, etc.
- Regular visits to the mission field and college campuses
- Attendance at weddings, funerals, and other significant life events
- Pastoral support, prayer, and counseling
- Special retreats, seminars, and training
The team includes counselors, pastors to missionaries, and an MK coordinator. They strive to care for missionaries and their families in all stages of life—from equipping new missionaries for sustainable ministry to helping missionaries transition into retirement.
“We are committed to coming alongside our missionaries in support in any and all ways possible,” Ned added. “We are Aaron and Hur [Exodus 17] to our missionaries, and we are here to support them and hold them up as they serve on the front lines.”
There are many issues that are typical for missionaries and their kids. A few of them include:
- Constant transition
- Dealing with loneliness and depression
- Cultural issues and understanding
- Learning a new language
- Kids’ educational and emotional needs
- Dealing with health issues
- The burden of leaving unsaved loved ones
- Being absent from aging parents
- The stress of fundraising
The Member Health team helps missionaries navigate these difficult waters and facilitates their getting further care and treatment if necessary.
"We meet people where they are,” shared Greg Leeth, who just got back from a field visit to Honduras with his wife, Teresa, where they had helped missionaries in spiritual renewal. “We focus on having that one-on-one time with missionaries and their families, sharing God with them—because they are so busy sharing God with everyone else.”
MK Coordinator Mike Banks added: “Many MKs have vast life experiences, but they may not have an avenue to process those. They need to understand that their experiences, although many times very difficult, may also be great blessings and advantages in their lives. I want them to be proud and thankful for their upbringing and to realize who they can be in Christ if they will allow Him to work in them and use their vast life experiences to impact those around them.”
Partner With Member Health
PRAY: Pray for wisdom as WGM’s Member Health team ministers to missionaries and MKs. Pray for protection, strength, and stamina for the Member Health team as they travel many miles. Pray that MKs will realize who God wants them to be and that they will find people to encourage them spiritually and emotionally. Please pray that the Lord will send people to minister to the Member Health team, equipping them to minister to others.
GIVE: Click the links below to partner with WGM’s Member Health team. Make checks payable to World Gospel Mission and write the team member’s name on the memo line. Send check donations to: World Gospel Mission, P.O. Box 948, Marion, IN 46952-0948.
Ned and Marlene McGrady
Greg and Teresa Leeth
Other ways to get involved in Member Health include: sending notes of encouragement to missionaries, MKs, and the Member Health team; and providing stamps or sharing your frequent flier miles with the Member Health team. Contact Ned McGrady for more information.