SO, one of the BIGGEST challenges of overseas life, we’ve found, is communication.
Another is isolation.
Beyond that we face a stronger sense here of limited resources…
We enjoy & need ALL of the above!
Facebook, Squarespace blogs, Newsletters and Twitter have been fabulous tools for SHARING what we are doing ministry-wise, personally, and as a family in general. They are also helpful for sharing thoughts, events, pics and chat sessions with family members & friends. However, we have to dedicate quite a LOT of time to planning, writing, posting and updating the latest "news".
With a busy 6 year old underfoot, me (Rebecca) in the midst of midwifery studies 50 hours a week now & Ted’s 40-60 hours of field/office work we have had to seriously weigh up time management factors along with our current resources & “needs” as human beings, christian workers, family members, and friends.
This is what we realized...
- Broadly used social media is playing a different role than we hoped.
- It is probably more of a drain on all of the above than an improvement.
- Our personal & ministry support of all forms has been through truly engaged (daily to annually) family members, friends & co-workers.
- We are not comfortable broadcasting...personal events, experiences, and needs...or the lives and stories of our Haitian friends...with the general public anymore.
What we honestly don’t desire right now (or ever) is:
- to spend extra non-interactive time on electronics
- our Haitian friends’ privacy to be invaded or stories exploited
- to feed information consumerism instead of tangible engagement in ministry
- personal information to be turned into “gossip”
- one way communication
- a growing sense of isolation in observing normal life from afar
- a mile long FB chat list of individuals that we never interact with
- our youngest to learn that life revolves around a laptop!
We DO desperately need:
To SIMPLIFY during busy times & STRENGTHEN “real” and positive relationships, even from a distance.
To share meaningful personal time with family & friends in some interactive (probably media based) form regularly.
SO, here is the HARSH part...
...we are going to take a VERY BOLD step & actively shut down any social media pathways to the general PUBLIC and those we are not interacting with personally….over the next few weeks.
What does that look like?
We WILL still be on facebook/twitter as individuals.
Our family page will be shut down by the end of November.
If you would like to remain “friends” please send each of us a quick message saying so.
No communication from you in the last year directly by any mode or between now & the end of November, means...don’t take it personally...but we must unfriend you at that time.
BLOG POSTS may be limited or even eliminated. We'll see what time allows in the coming months.
We WILL continue to send occasional NEWSLETTERS out.
The idea is that when they arrive, we'd love to hear a reply & catch up on YOUR news as well!
You will receive one ONLY IF you send a brief reply to the most recent one and notify us that you would like to continue receiving them OR have responded personally at least once in the past year.
Does this mean that you have to chat with us daily or weekly or monthly??? No, not really. We are just looking to be more engaged personally with you over the course of the year in some way.
We sincerely hope that you understand this phase of our overseas life & work right now and will be an active part of our circle of friends & family that laughs with us in joyful times & shares strength, wisdom & encouragement during the hard ones. We love and cherish you either way!
As always...there is a standing invitation for the use our guestroom in Haiti as well!
Have a blessed weekend - Rebecca