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Ministry through Adversity Theme of Popular Magazine

Latest Issue of 'Unfinished' Offers Practical, Godly Advice and Encouragement to Those Facing Life's Most Challenging Seasons

Contact: Ty Mays, 770-256-8710

NORCROSS, Ga., May 28, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Millions of Americans face seemingly overwhelming obstacles each day, including heartbreak, depression and burnout. But trials can be overcome and actually work for our benefit, according to the latest issue of "Unfinished" magazine, which provides practical, godly advice and encouraging stories of those who have persevered and emerged stronger than ever.

Diminished faith, mourning and hopelessness are just a few of the seasons most people encounter during their lives. For those in ministry, these seasons can lead to a loss of focus, lower outcomes or even abandonment of God's calling on their lives.

In the latest issue of the award-winning "Unfinished" magazine, the publication of The Mission Society (www.themissionsociety.org/learn/multimedia/unfinished), each article -- under the theme of "ministry for the long haul" -- tells the personal stories of missionaries struggling through particularly difficult seasons, and how they found strength and encouragement to emerge better equipped. 

"Ministry for the long haul is not about spending several decades faithfully executing one's call, but spending a lifetime following hard after the One who calls us not to a profession, but to Himself," writes The Mission Society President the Rev. Dick McClain, who, after serving with this ministry for 28 years,  will retire at the end of May. "What really matters when it comes to ministry for the 'long haul' is not the Christian worker's tenure with a particular mission organization or in a particular country, but his or her tenacity in following Jesus."

For the past 30 years, The Mission Society has recruited, trained and sent missionaries around the world to communicate -- through word and deed -- the message of the gospel. The organization is involved in a diverse set of initiatives, including agricultural training, evangelism, church planting, literacy, medical work, arts ministries and numerous other pursuits. Since 1984, more than 500 men and women have served in dozens of countries around the globe, including more than 225 at present.

Margaret and Andrew Howell had just returned from Zaire on their second mission term. In the weeks immediately after their arrival in the U.S., Margaret seemed despondent and was slowly slipping into the grips of depression. In "Through Depression," the couple recounts Margaret's diagnosis, the care she received and ultimately her recovery, which resulted in a stronger marriage, healthier boundaries and a desire to help others mired in depression.

"Little did we realize," the couple wrote, "that God would use this season as preparation for our move to France, where depression exists in epidemic proportions."

In "What Is to Become of Me," Dr. Susan Muto uses her training and experience in spiritual formation to help readers address the stress and anxiety of working in ministry.

She includes six phases for what calls "the alternating cycle of fervor and fading interest in the life of any sincere minister," including "initial phase of exaltation," "apprehension of dissonance," "significant increase of inner stress," "start of a crisis," "resolution of a crisis" and "evolution of a renewed ministerial presence."

"We often hear people who have been in ministry for any length of time saying they cannot wait to retire," she writes. "The pressures on them are so depleting, it seems almost impossible for them to continue in their ministry beyond a certain age. The question is: Can we grow through the inner and outer turmoil associated with ministry, or does the stress of ministry, ranging from physical exhaustion to spiritual aridity, take more out of us than we have to give?"

Free subscriptions to "Unfinished" magazine are available at www.themissionsociety.org/go/subscribetouf. This issue also introduces The Mission Society's new president, the Rev. Max Wilkins.

Incorporated on January 6, 1984, The Mission Society (www.themissionsociety.org) exists to mobilize and deploy the body of Christ globally to join Jesus in his mission, especially among the least-reached peoples. The Mission Society recruits, trains and sends Christian missionaries to minister around the world. Its church ministry department provides seminars, workshops and mentoring for congregations in the United States and abroad, helping equip churches for outreach in their communities and worldwide. At present, The Mission Society has more than 225 missionaries serving in more than 42countries.

To schedule an interview with representatives of The Mission Society, contact Ty Mays at 770-256-8710 or