Often missionaries find it easier to show grace and mercy to nationals than they do to other missionaries. Our mindset is so focused around the nationals that we forget to serve our teammates. The number one reason missionaries leave the field is other missionaries (kids, spouse or teammates).
The obvious reality is that missionaries need to show more grace, love and mercy to each other. Missionaries need to minister to each other as much (if not more) as they minister to nationals. But, often times we forget about each other.
Our team is very concerned about this. We do not want to tread on the hearts of our teammates as we race to serve the nationals. One of the ways we attempt to address this issue is through mentoring. Our older missionaries take time each week with our younger missionaries in an intimate setting. In our mentoring sessions we check in with each other: How are you? How is your spiritual life? Do you need anything? In addition we go through a brief devotional together and talk through it and try to apply it to our lives.
Mentoring is not foolproof, but our team believes that God put us together for a reason. We use this mentoring time to take the spiritual and emotional temperature of our teammates and try to discern how we can better serve each other. Missionaries do not stop being human when they become missionaries. Missionaries are sinners, miss home and have needs. Mentoring allows us to check in with each other before the pressure cooker of the mission field makes another statistic of a good missionary.