Counseling on the Mission Field


Counseling on the Mission Field

By September 10, 2022April 23rd, 2024No Comments

Because we live in a broken world, at some point we all experience suffering in our communities, in the people closest to us, and our own lives. But it’s in those jagged moments, that we can be more open to hearing from God.

C.S. Lewis wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Serge counselor-missionaries serve in the face of real need, often in countries or with populations lacking access to mental health care that integrates faith—or quality care at all. We work in a variety of contexts: from counseling local populations; to meeting with local believers and church leaders; to counseling missionaries so they can flourish on the field. 

All of our counselors are clinically trained and offer a high level of care integrated with a Christian worldview. 

We recognize that God calls us all to serve from a place of neediness and brokenness. Through that posture of humility, we seek to meet hurting people in their pain and provide a glimpse of the hope found in the gospel.

Here are just a few ways we do counseling on the mission field:

Offering a Glimpse of the Gospel to Non-Believers

People with no faith to speak of may seek out counseling for a range of personal hardships—from anxiety and depression to severe illness or the loss of a loved one. In many cases, these kinds of suffering lead to deeper conversations about purpose, faith, and eternity. These conversations open doors to talk about gospel hope. 

Serge counseling missionaries often serve individuals of diverse nations, generations, and situations.

This can happen in places like Western Europe–often with immigrant populations that lack support services and are frequently victims of war, sexual slavery, or abuse. Or it can happen in closed-access countries in South Asia or the Middle East where counselors have regular opportunities to meet with hard-to-reach populations of non-believers.

Supporting Healthy Churches and Christians

Serge counselors also meet with local believers in the church—as well as national church leaders—to encourage them in their struggles, and walk with them in the hard places of ministry.

We believe that healthy Christians and healthy churches are the brightest lights in their community and that we are the best witnesses when our lives—the good, the bad, and the hard—are lived in a manner worthy of the gospel.  

Supporting and Counseling for Missionaries

No one said missionary life is easy. That’s why we also provide vital care for Serge workers, including counseling, crisis care, conflict resolution, and debriefing to help missionaries navigate difficult circumstances on the field and flourish in their calling.

As one counselor says: 

“I was able to help provide immediate counseling for some of our missionaries who were taken off the field unexpectedly due to COVID-19 challenges. Within a week of unexpectedly coming home, Serge wanted to meet the missionaries in their grief, hardship, and unexpected goodbyes, along with the uncertainty of what COVID-19 could mean.

We created space for them to share what they were going through as a group. Even though they were coming from 5 different countries, they were able to connect and find a moment of peace in the chaos. I then followed up with them individually to hear their stories and offered counsel and support as they stepped into the journey of being back.”

– Danielle, Serge Coordinator for Counseling Care

Because we recognize the danger of burnout, we work to provide our missionaries with emotional, mental, and spiritual encouragement, guidance, and respite. We want our staff to find an identity as a son or daughter of God first and as a missionary second.

At Serge, our member care teams come alongside each one of our missionaries, personally and proactively with the tangible support they need—so they can focus on the work God has called them to do.

We’re currently working to field our first Regional Missionary Care team so missionaries can have that kind of support locally.

Lindsay Kimball DeBlaay, Senior Director of People Development and Licensed Professional Counselor, says,

“We’re taking the initiative to place care teams in every region our workers are in, to offer counseling and pastoral care on the ground so that our workers can flourish over the long haul.”

Counseling is just one way we offer care and support to our missionaries in their times of need—which can make a big difference in the life and work of a missionary.


Are you looking to use your counseling skills on the mission field? If so, we want to talk to you!

Types of counseling include:

  • Individual
  • Marriage
  • Family
  • Children and Adolescents

Explore Missions Opportunities in Counseling:

Share this story:


Serge is an international missions organization with more than 300 missionaries in 26 countries. We send and care for missionaries, mentor and train ministry leaders, and develop resources for continuous gospel renewal.