Have you ever met someone and wondered how in the world did he turn out like this? It can be a really good or a really bad impression. Either way, you probably remember him for the rest of your life.
When I first met Alex Galloway, Psy.D, he was working with Memphis Healthy Churches and Christ Community Health Services in Memphis, TN. He is a clinical psychologist who I had pictured in my mind as one who could (and should according to the world’s standards) be earning 100’s of thousands of dollars annually based on his education, skills, and abilities. However, he was devoting his time and energy to the under-served and poor of the inner city. He certainly left a lasting impression on me.
After he announced he was leaving Memphis to join Church Resource Ministries, (CRM) my heart was sad because I had never met anyone quite like him. According to CRM’s website, “CRM empowers leaders to go to the unreached and unchurched, bring transformation among the poor, and mobilize the Church for mission…so that disciples are made among the nations.” The website describes Alex like this: Alex is a clinical psychologist with specialized interest in marriage counseling, trauma recovery, and the holistic care of God’s people. He has worked among the poor for ten years in Memphis and has a passion for the marginalized and victims of injustice. He enjoys encouraging, equipping, and empowering those who minister on the “front lines” with CRM.
I would miss him terribly, but I knew God had a much greater calling on his life. He and his wife, Amy, along with their 3 daughters, would be giving up everything to move overseas to serve in an even greater capacity. Alex wouldn’t be able to do what he does without Amy, whom I may add, has a master’s degree herself. CRM’s website describes her like this: Amy makes a special contribution to the team with her deep love for women in ministry and their families. Her authentic living, transparency about the spiritual journey, and deep passion for Jesus permeate her teaching and ministry. Amy is passionate about prayer and commits herself to praying for CRM and our staff.
If they knew I was writing this blog about them, they would surely blush. If they knew I still had a hard time calling Dr. Galloway simply “Alex,” they would wonder why. If they knew I was mentioning their degrees and worldly earning potential, they would probably ask that I not write this blog post. However, it’s all part of my story: Living Inside the Testimony…in Spain.
Today, Alex, Amy, and their three girls – Karis, Bella, and Lexy – live in Málaga, Spain, where they are establishing a missionary care and training hub. I subscribe to their newsletter, and the latest one is what gave me the idea for this post. Below is an excerpt from their newsletter.
Every wonder WHY we’ve been appointed to this particular era… the era of ice water fund-raising challenges, partisan stand-offs, the redefinition of marriage, and the disintegration of trust between the police and the people?
And what about the turmoil in the Middle East? It’s horrifying to know there are videos of beheadings (American or not! Children or adults!) circulating on the internet fueling the religious and ideological wars among religious groups. We see the footage of entire villages being gassed to death and hear of Iraqi Christians being crucified because they won’t renounce their faith. Then we close our computer, refill our coffee, swallow our helplessness and guilt, and go on about the day. I mean really, what can WE do about it?
Christianity Today recently posted an excellent article titled, “Crisis in Iraq: Five Things You can Actually Do to Help” see the attached link: (http://www.christiantoday.com/article/crisis.in.iraq.six.things.you.can.actually.do.to.help/39094.htm).
Two of their recommendations ring especially true for me.
1) PRAY for people living in these war-torn zones. When I am worshipping on a Sunday morning, I often think of people sitting in refugee camps, young girls held hostage by religious fanatics, or Christians sitting in jail cells… all of them facing daily torture, and despair. I ask God to sing over them, wherever they are, to send angels to minister to them, to reveal Himself to them in the darkness, and to strengthen their spirits. And I pray for those receiving the overflow of refugees. You think our immigration problem is bad – they estimate more than 30% of Lebanon will be Syrian refugees by the end of the year. Yes. Thirty percent. Now that’s a humanitarian crisis that reshapes a whole nation.
2) GIVE to organizations who are serving on the ground. I know it seems “easy” or insignificant to just write a check. But my belief is that our checkbooks can help to remind us and align us more clearly with our priorities and with the suffering around the world. There is a practical (and I believe spiritual) release of resources that take place when we invest in the poor, the oppressed and the forgotten.
In case you are unconnected to an organization working in the Middle East, Alex himself (and several on our team) are working directly with the crisis in Syria, Iraq, Israel, and Lebanon. Here’s how we are involved:
- Alex trains workers from refugee camps and NGOs how to do crisis and trauma debriefing. The trainings and materials are translated from English to Arabic as the workers come from many nations. They then take those materials and train others… there’s a multiplication effect in resourcing others.
- Our team provides debriefing and crises care for workers who themselves have been traumatized through sexual assault, deportation, abuse, and/or burnout. Sometimes it’s a Skype call, sometimes we go to them, and other times they land here in Southern Spain for a period of time.
- We host retreats where workers in the Middle East and north Africa come for spiritual care, counseling, and rest. They are always weary and often their belief in God and His goodness is rattled by the suffering they’ve seen. They need a landing place, a M*A*S*H unit so to speak, to rest, heal and receive care.
We tell you this not to be self-promoting (though we do have needs), but to give you an opportunity to participate in something tangible you can do for people on the other side of the globe. And it’s not insignificant – to us or to them.
Join with us in praying and serving our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world!
That is what I want to share with you today, Amy’s message in the newsletter. Don’t you see now why I wonder how they ended up like this? I’ve heard of overseas missionaries, but I’ve never seen a couple so totally devoted to it like they are. They have given up everything to serve others, and I’d just like to share their message with my readers. You can read more about Alex and Amy at this link that follows. Be sure to scroll down beyond the top story after you click the link to see some really cute pictures of the family’s visit back home to America. Click here: Galloway Updates from Spain.
I have been making a monthly contribution to help them fulfill their mission ever since they left Memphis years ago. If you feel led to make a one time or ongoing, tax-deductible donation to support the Galloway family and their ministry, you may give in the following ways:
CRM Empowering Leaders
1240 N. Lakeview Ave #120
Anaheim, CA 92807
Call 1 (800) 777-6658 x122 to make a donation by credit card.
Thank you so much for taking the time to live inside the testimony with me by subscribing to my blog. Like I always say, “We all live inside testimonies meant to be shared to help inspire and encourage others.” The Galloways inspire me all the way from Spain! I hope that I have inspired you today.