Recovering Missionaries was created by missionaries and former missionaries who have observed abuse in missions communities and organizations across the world and have experienced it firsthand.

Realizing that there are precious few resources specific to the kinds of suffering unique to the missions community, we resolved to create our own. Here you can find a community of people who may share many of your experiences. You can publish your story with or without your name and organization attached or read the stories of others with similar experiences. You can find language for your suffering and resources to help you heal. We are so glad you’re here.

About Recovering Missionaries

Recovering Missionaries exists to offer support and resources to former Christian missionaries who are recovering from painful and even traumatic experiences during their time of service.

For years, missionaries who have served overseas have been harmed through many forms of abuse. Some forms of abuse are obvious like sexual or physical abuse. Other types of abuse like financial abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, spiritual abuse, and religious abuse are far more insidious and difficult to name.

Because missions communities are often isolated and insulated, toxicity reaches into the missionary’s personal life as well as professional life. The loss can be overwhelming. Missionaries who experience abuse on the field may lose their jobs, their purpose, their closest friends, and their spiritual community all at once, and it takes years to recover from the experience.

Unfortunately, many former missionaries who experienced trauma, especially if the abuse came from trusted co-workers and friends, struggle with telling their story to their loved ones back home. Who can really understand what it was like to be an expat missionary except for those who have walked the same road?  Who can really understand what it is like to walk through trauma and abuse in that context but others who have lived it too?

Recovering Missionaries is a community that understands because we have lived it too. We know the heartbreak, and we also believe that healing is possible.

Understanding Abuse in Missions

Is this abuse?

Is this group or organization a safe place?

I’ve experienced or witnessed abuse. What should I do next? 

Identifying and labeling experiences can be difficult, especially when you have been receiving the message that you are the problem and that you brought everything on yourself. The first step to healing is understanding what happened to you. The second step is to know what to do next. We’re here to walk you through that process. You can find more information to understand your experiences here, or search for resources for recovery in our Resources and Just for Parents and MKs pages.

We want to hear from you!

Whether you are looking for a resource or want to share your story with someone who understands or just want to connect, we would love to hear from you!

To report abuse