How’s this for a group activity: split into pairs and act out the worst version of yourself? That’s exactly the assignment we gave our teams in Asia during our Emotional Health Seminar. We were going over material from the The DNA of Relationships, by Gary Smalley, and after we assessed what our core fears and common negative reactions in our close relationships were, we did skits playing out those fears and reactions in mock conflict situations. We had people yelling at each other, abruptly shutting down conversations, and talking to themselves about how awful the other was. It was terribly fun, the kind of fun you feel a bit terrible about enjoying! And thankfully we learned how to handle those kinds of situations better!
Another part of the seminar was emotional processing. We taught our teammates how to journal through past events and current triggers in order to identify lies they believe and apply God’s truth to broken places. One young woman shared that as a result of doing a journaling exercise, she realized that she picked up a tendency to feel devalued by others when her parents gave her a red bedroom set when she was 11. She hated the bedroom set. What they meant as a gift of love made her feel unimportant because they didn’t ask her opinion about something she would have to live with for years to come. She said that having the Holy Spirit bring it to light and confessing it out helped her to let it go.
The third block of the seminar was watching a Boundaries DVD series by Cloud and Townsend. As we discussed the videos, I could tell that a couple of people in each city team were learning these truths for the first time — they looked as if they were awakening to a new dawn. It was a joy to watch God changing their hearts as they discovered why they haven’t learned good boundaries in relationships and how to live more healthily.
It was SO wonderful for us to meet with our teammates in Asia. It’s easy to feel a bit disconnected from our mission — Asian college students — when we do behind-the-scenes work on this side of the ocean. This trip was a breath of fresh air to our sense of being connected to our teammates and our mission. Thank you for praying for us and making it possible financially!
We appreciate you, our behind-the-scenes teammates!