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As the season of Thanksgiving approaches, I’ve been thinking about how thankful I am for the home office staff in my organization. I know that some home office workers struggle in support raising. Some churches as a policy don’t give to people working in a support or administrative role in their own country. As a worker living overseas – I think that’s extremely sad.

Here are ten reasons why I’m immensely grateful for the people who work in the home office:

  1. They put me through the wringer before I got here. Medical and psychological tests, interviews and questions about my spiritual health were daunting at the time. But when in the midst of culture shock I felt I was probably insane, I thought, “But they checked me for mental illness and I was cleared!” It may not sound like a comforting thought, so just trust me on that one…
  2. They find, evaluate and train my coworkers. It’s because of them I’m not out here all by myself.
  3. Because of my home office, I’m connected to an international group all dedicated to the same goals and vision. I get to glean from the perspectives of believers from every continent on the planet.
  4. Access to a lot of wisdom. It’s humbling to hang out in that office for a day. There are so many living, breathing examples of God’s faithfulness and stories of honest struggle. That wisdom is made available to those of us out here in a myriad of official and unofficial ways.
  5. If I became deathly ill, got caught in a catastrophe or experienced a personal tragedy, there’s a team of people who would be on my side. People experienced in handling evacuations, crises, and the need for long-term counseling.
  6. I do not have to be an expert in IT security, international medical insurance, visas & travel, international money transfers & budgets or the hundreds of other things that go into my being able to be here. Experts at home willingly share their expertise with me – for free.
  7. There are people dedicated to telling the story of what God is doing internationally. Because of the work of home office staff, we’re aware of and get to rejoice with believers at His handiwork in places like Bolivia, Mongolia and Japan.
  8. Big projects – like transition homes for trafficked women and girls – are possible because of the coordination and fundraising work done in home offices.
  9. It’s a vivid picture of being a part of the Body. God uses accountants. God uses videographers. God uses historians and record keepers and travel agents and hospitality staff. You don’t know how much you can be blessed by an office administrator until you are.
  10. When I go home, there are trained people to debrief with. People who understand the stress of overseas living. People trained in making sure I’m still on a solid footing. People who can laugh heartily with me at my missteps and weep honestly with my failures because they’ve been in the same situations.

If you work in the home office of an overseas organization – from the very bottom of my heart – thank you. You are an amazing blessing.

If you give to a worker in a home office, thank you. Your giving is being multiplied hundreds of times over through that one person’s involvement with workers worldwide.

If you don’t support someone in a home office – why not? What are you waiting for?

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