The Red Sea Counselling and Member Care Centre Limited exists to support Christian cross-cultural workers (past and present) through the provision of Counselling Services and Member Care disciplines and training. We desire to see these people equipped with the tools and skills to lead resilient lives and to carry out their calling and ministries joyfully and fruitfully.
The Red Sea Counselling and Member Care Centre provides counselling, member care services, training and support for missionaries and Christian workers who are or have been serving in the field cross-culturally (usually overseas) to keep them on the field or to help them return to the field with a view to fulfilling the Great Commission (Matt 28:16-20) and the Great Commandment (Matt 22:36-40). We also aim to support those transitioning back into their home cultures post service or as they transition into retirement.
Statement of Faith:
‘We worship the only God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, whose creative, outgoing love overflowed from the divine community to create the universe and who calls us to share in eternal life and love and to participate in the fulfilment of divine purposes.
In grace and humility Jesus, the only Son of the Father, shared our humanity and became our example of service and sacrifice. Out of love for the world he suffered the consequences of our sin and died in order to overcome the power of the evil one; to release humanity from alienation from God and from being captive to self-centred sinfulness; and to restore a disordered creation. The power of the Father defeated death and brought new life to Jesus who now reigns as Lord of all and who, through the active presence of the Spirit, calls for repentance, brings the possibility of forgiveness and gives new life to all those who live in union with him. Christians live in love by the power of the Spirit, who is the Spirit of Jesus, as a single community of God’s people. We are filled with the Spirit who transforms lives and characters according to the example of the Lord Jesus, and the church is built up by the gifts of ministry and service which the Spirit brings. The life of the church is guided by God through the Scriptures which are uniquely inspired and the final authority for Christian faith and practice.
As a community of those who worship God and live in fellowship we are called to bring everyone the good news of the salvation which can only be found in life with the Lord Jesus Christ. We are committed to work for justice in every society and to protect and enhance God’s creation. While working for the kingdom in the present we also look forward to the return of the Lord Jesus, bringing justice to all and the glorious, perfect kingdom of God.
This venture was attempted once before in Australia in 2009, where it just failed to gain the traction needed to launch.
In 2019, the need was once again realised, and at the Missions Interlink; South Pacific Member Care Conference in Dunedin, New Zealand, the idea was presented to those attending, and received overwhelming support and encouragement to try again.
A community consultation was held in January 2020 in Cairns, where Australian and Pacific region mission agencies were invited to attend, along with Cairns local mental health service providers, Church and denominational leaders and interested others, where once again, the vision was received very well and the founders were encouraged to continue.
In May 2020, Mark and Lorene van Rossen were assigned by the Summer Institute of Linguistics, to the full time set up of The Red Sea for a period of two years.
In November 2020, a Board was formed and in July 2021, The Red Sea Counselling and Member Care Centre Limited was registered as a business with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
The Australian Charities and Not-for Profits Commission (ACNC) recognised The Red Sea as an Australian Charity on 23 December 2021.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) granted deductible gift recipient (DGR) status in January 2022, along with charity tax concessions (Income Tax Exemption, Fringe Benefits Tax Exemption and Goods and Services Tax Concession).
A qualified Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was appointed by the Board in February 2022.
As we continue to step forward in faith, we plan to begin providing services to the Christian mission community on or around October 2022.
Brief statement about when we hope to open: At the time of writing, the Red Sea Counselling and Member Care Centre Limited is not currently operating. We hope to open our doors in 2022. We will provide updates on this website when actual dates are available.
This service is primarily for Christian, cross culture workers living or working in the Asia Pacific region. This includes workers from all Christian missions agencies and Christian Church outreaches. This may be for those who are career missionaries, or for those who have taken part in a mission outreach for a few weeks. Trauma and culture shock are just as relevant for all who serve overseas or in indigenous communities, and sometimes, people need a little help working through what they have seen and experienced. Who better to guide them than someone who really understands? You may just need to debrief, and we can offer personal debriefs or group debriefs, or you might prefer working with one of our counsellors and working through specific issues, especially as they relate to trauma, spiritual issues or reverse culture shock.
This service is also for those who have served in Christian cross-cultural work and have now returned home or have retired. Many people who leave the mission field leave with unresolved issues, or with broken relationships. Many leave and are not supported well as they re-enter their home culture, some are even more injured when they return. These issues can impede the re-entry process, and can linger for many, many years. Our staff would love to come alongside you and allow you to tell your story, to really share how it made you feel, and how it has affected you since. These feelings can remain for many, many years and be a real burden. We would like to help you work through some of those feelings.
This service is open for Christian workers (clergy) also. Ministry, in this COVID era just got a little bit harder, didn’t it? Christian ministers often feel alone, unable to debrief or work through challenging issues. The expectations on them are often incredibly high, and many fail to live up to their own expectations for themselves, let alone those of others. The burnout rate amongst the clergy is alarming. More and more, we hear of good, committed pastors and church workers leaving the ministry and not coming back.
• You have much less energy than you once had.
• It seems like you catch every cold or bout of flu that’s going around.
• You’re constantly exhausted, even after sleeping or taking a break.
• You neglect your own needs, either because you’re too busy or you don’t care anymore.
• Your life revolves around caregiving, but it gives you little satisfaction.
• You have trouble relaxing, even when help is available.
• You’re increasingly impatient and irritable with the people you’re caring for.
• You feel helpless and hopeless.
Call it Compassion Fatigue, Caregiver Stress or Burnout, these feelings usually consisting of three qualitative dimensions which are:
emotional exhaustion, cynicism and depersonalization,
reduced professional efficacy and,
unsatisfactory personal accomplishment.
Burnout can occur in any kind of profession but mostly in the caregiver domains. Current statistics place one in three Physicians in varying degrees of burnout.
So, whether you are a career missionary, a current or past serving minister, a youth recently returned from a missions experience or someone who has left the field prematurely or retired, our staff would love to work with you on that journey.
Why not set it up in PNG? A past Pacific Area Counsellor states: “Serious lack of infrastructure and sense of safety. Unreliable electricity, phone, extremely poor internet access and security concerns would make the establishment and running of a counselling centre in PNG difficult. But perhaps more important, missionaries who are overly tired, stressed and experiencing emotional difficulty need at least a brief separation from ministry. This is difficult to do if remaining in the country. There is a certain level of hypervigilance that is always present living in Papua New Guinea.”
Why Cairns? In 2009, SIL International Counselling and Personnel spent 3 years discussing various options for providing a sustainable counselling presence in the South Pacific. After an extensive feasibility study, it was determined that a counselling centre in Cairns was the best, if not only solution. And yes, add… Cairns is easily accessible from PNG and the South Pacific Islands. There is an international airport, good medical facilities and many attractions to help with rest and rejuvenation. Treetops Lodge offers accommodation primarily available to the mission community. http://treetopslodgecairns.org.au/