Giants, Foxes, Wolves, and Flies

Managing Life's Meta-4s

Member Care Associates

We are committted to:

**Further develop good practice within the member care field.

**Work together with international colleagues on strategic projects to support personnel and groups in the mission/aid sector. 

**Make quality resources accessible broadly--across the globe and in many languages.

ntegrate knowledge, virtue, and duty (eruditio, probitas, and officium) in all that we do.

**Pursue truth and promote peace in our relationships and work.   

 Dr. Michele O'Donnell      Dr. Kelly O'Donnell     Consulting Psychologists


This article, "Giants, Foxes, Wolves and Flies" has a bit of history behind it, in terms of its publication. The first version was published in a special member care issue of the International Journal of Frontier Missions (1995, vol. 12, pp. 185-188). The initial article was later expanded and published as four short articles in the journal Reaching Children at Risk (1998, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 28-29; no. 2, pp. 6-10; no. 3, pp. 11-14; and 1999, vol. 3, no. 2,pp. 26-29). The latest version was published in 2002 in Doing Member Care Well by William Carey Library Publishers.

This web page offers an article that explores four common areas of struggle and growth for mission/aid personnel. These four areas are described as Biblical metaphors representing the challenges that we often experience as we try to serve God and humanity in new ways or unfamiliar places. The article was written by Dr. Kelly and Dr. Michele O'Donnell, based on their international experience in the member care field as psychologists. The material can be used by individuals, couples, and teams for personal reflection and discussion.


Note: See also the helpful assessment tools listed/linked at the end, such as the CHOPS Inventory (struggles, successes and strategies for adjustment).


Giants seek to disable us by exploiting our vulnerabilities

(2 Samuel 21:15-22).

Foxes try to distract us and cause us to drift off our primary tasks (Song of Solomon 2:15).

Wolves endeavor to distress us with high stress and unbalanced lives

(Matthew 10:16).

Flies purpose to disgrace us by the contaminating effects of sin (Ecclesiastes 10:1).


All four of these creatures, indicividually and collectively, seek to sift us like wheat, and ultimately disable our life and work. Let's take a closer look at these creatures and explore some ways to deal with them.


Arabic article:الفصل الثالث والعشرون.pdf

Chinese article: 巨人、狐狸、狼和苍蝇:帮助我们自己和别人.pdf

English article: Giants Foxes Wolves and Flies.pdf

Korean article: 거인, 여우, 늑대, 그리고 파리.pdf.

Spanish article: Zorras Gigantes Lobos y Moscas.pdf

Giants, Foxes, Wolves, and Flies


CHOPS Inventory:

Assessing Struggles, Successes, and Strategies

for Managing Stressors in Cross-Cultural Life/Work

German: CHOPS Deutsch.jpg

Bahasa Indonesia: CHOPS Bahasa Indonesia.doc 

Spanish: CHOPS Espanol.pdf

Arabic:  CHOPS شكل.doc
English update Dec 2012, with items for A4 workers: CHOPS Dec 2012 update


More Tools for Personal Growth

Authentic Happiness--Free assessment tools on-line to measure character strengths, different aspects of happiness, etc.

Headington Institute--Free assessment tools on-line to explore self-care, work-life balance, stress, and trauma.
Management Sciences for Health --Offers a comprehensive and free tool-grid to help organizations assess their HR capacity and to make plans to improve HR. Also in French and Spanish. (Human Resource Management Assessment Tool )
For a great overview of human resource management see Strengthening HRM to Improve Health Outcomes (Management Sciences for Health).
Professional Quality of Life (revision 2009)--This assessment tool looks at Compassion Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue. It is available in eight languages, online for free. (Developed by Dr. Beth Stamm)
Managing Stress in the Field (revision 2009)--A booklet exploring stress and tips for dealing with stress on the field, including a brief questionnaire on stress. Also available in French and Spanish.
Wellness Inventory (for mission/aid workers, 2011)--This questionnaire contains 96 items that are organized into seven categories of "wellness." To take the investory contact the developer, Phil Manning:
i-resilience report--This free asssessment tool from Robertson Cooper is done online
and includes a report/feedback. It explores four coure areas of resilience: confidence, adaptability, purposefulness and social support, relating these areas to common
workplace situations and ways to improve your resilience.
Kelly ODonnell,
Dec 26, 2012, 4:55 PM
Kelly ODonnell,
Jan 3, 2012, 1:48 PM
Kelly ODonnell,
Jan 3, 2012, 1:54 PM