Consider each other’s gifts and preferences.”
Usually the wife is best with the care of the children and managing the home. Sharing night call and emergencies is helpful. Letting each other do the things that they may be most gifted is good. Perhaps the wife likes children care and obstetrics and the husband likes trauma care and surgery.
Answer from Harold, who served in three Ethiopian hospitals over thirty years performing more than 25,000 operations.
“Find the right agency.”
You need to join a mission that will give both of you latitude to share your medical ministry and family roles. One such mission is Interserve.
Through the mission agency or through other experienced medical missionaries, you can get lots of tips and support. Such a partnership is exciting and rewarding.
Answer from Cynthia Hale, who served in Nepal under the United Mission to Nepal.
“By communication and prayer.”
My husband Greg and I are both nurses with a heart to serve. We have found sharing ministry and family roles can be extremely challenging. I think most couples that are medical professionals struggle with family and career. Juggling family and medical missions is not very different.
The biggest difference, a positive one, is that we can include our family in the ministry. We can take our daughters on mission trips and enhance their education in many ways. Working for God, a family gains the opportunity to see life outside the box and grow with the calling. They see physical and spiritual poverty and need. Medicine is a mighty tool to accomplish God’s work; healing and compassion go hand in hand with showing Christ’s love.
We have discovered with prayer that we can work together in medical missions. By complementing each others gifts, we can accomplish the vision that God has given us. Greg is the conceptual idea man, and I am the relational component.
We work together, make lists, communicate, respect each member’s space, and give our lives to God. We include our daughters in our prayer needs and ministry, and they see our hearts they grow spiritually. At the end of the day we try to go home, spend quality family time together, and keep our priorities straight.
Answer from Candi, an RN with Mercy Ships, who has been in missions for four years.