A “front-line” missionary rarely works less than forty hours per week. While he or she may not spend every waking moment leading a Bible study or preparing a lesson, there is a very real sense of being “always on-call” 24/7. Needs can arise at almost any time. A late-night knock at the door may come from a friend who needs refuge from her broken and abusive home. A seemingly quiet evening may be interrupted by a text message that says someone in the community just committed suicide. Discipling new believers often goes on into the night, fielding question after question about the Bible and discussing the new hope they’ve found in Christ. Whatever the case, the needs of ministry do not end at 5p.m.
During our church-planting days we often found ourselves sitting around the kitchen table giving spiritual counsel and encouragement until the wee hours of the morning. Becoming tired and worn down happened easily. Opportunities for rest were hard to find. Tight finances, coupled with endless ministry pressures meant recovery options were limited.
The rates of stress, anxiety, depression and burnout are higher among missionaries than many other lines of work. Finding time to rest often proves very difficult while on the field. InterAct recognizes these struggles and strives to serve our field missionaries who need a break. One of the ways we’ve sought to do that is by providing a comfortable and expense-free place for our missionaries so that they can have a time of rest and refreshment.
About a year ago we made the decision to construct a guest home on the property of our U.S. office. While we planned for the building to be used for many purposes, such as housing mission guests, prospective missionaries coming for interviews, and field leaders in town for meetings, we also wanted it to be a warm and welcoming getaway place for our missionaries to use if they needed it.
The 875 square-foot (81 square-meter) house has two bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen and living area. It can accommodate two individuals, two couples, or a family of four to six. The house is right next to InterAct’s U.S. office in the quiet rural community of Boring, Oregon, but located only a few minutes away from grocery shopping and other convenient services. Nearby are many free activities which include interesting things to do and see in the city of Portland, and the natural beauty of the Columbia River Gorge where one can hike, relax or just take in scenic views.
Use of the house is available to all InterAct missionaries and staff, both in the U.S. and Canada. Since its completion several families have enjoyed staying there. One of the first guests was the the Beutler family. Josh and Joylynn, along with their sons Asher and Elliot, serve in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
“With little family time throughout the year because of ministry, it was great to have a getaway without the stress of paying for a hotel. The guesthouse with its warm cottage feel was more than we could have ever expected. It was so refreshing that it was hard to leave. We joked that the InterAct office staff might have to kick us out! We loved how close it was to the Portland city centre, the Oregon coast and so many beautiful hikes, but still quiet and peaceful in the country. We have the fondest lasting memories of lying on a blanket outside at night and staring at the stars, snuggling up in the evening under handmade quilts, and slow leisurely mornings as a family. We are so incredibly grateful for the opportunity we had to enjoy a revitalizing time of rest.” - Josh & Joylynn Beutler
When our missionaries are able to rest and recharge, they are often more energized and effective in their ministries. Providing a place for them to do this is just one of the ways we strive to help those on the “front lines” in the work of making disciples.
Projects like this couldn’t happen without the faithful support of those who partner with us in giving. Many of you have given generously to InterAct Ministries over the years, and for that we say thanks. Your contributions are used for projects like this guest house, which is already proving to be such a blessing to our missionaries. And because of the help you have given them, they are then able to more effectively bless the least-reached of the North Pacific Crescent with the message of the Hope of Christ.