Casual Friday Xtra-Large
So last week we didn’t get a chance to post since we were traveling. Did you miss us? To make up for it, we have an extra-large batch of resources for you this week. You could binge, or you could read this in stages…your choice 🙂
LIFE ON THE FIELD
Missionaries give up a lot to follow their calling. They don’t expect the ability to have children to be one of the sacrifices. This piece by Lori explains how life on the mission field complicates infertility.
Missionary attrition is a difficult thing to quantify. The most quoted cause may not be the actual culprit. Craig Thompson explains why interpersonal conflict is not necessarily the main issue.
When missionaries starve. That’s the provocative title of Jonathan Trotter’s article on the importance of feeding on the Word. This would be a good reminder to send to your friends on the field.
Hope is a vital commodity on the mission field. Your friends should read this post from Scott Shaum, shepherd of missionaries. In fact, you would benefit from it yourself.
Know anyone who is about to go to the mission field, or maybe just landed? You might share this post by Lauren Pinkston with them on the topic of expectations. It’s not what you expect.
Being single on the field can be tough. Elizabeth Spencer knows, and in this piece she shares what she didn’t do well. Pass this on to your single global worker friends.
Here’s another good article for those just arriving in their country of service. Veteran missionary Amy Medina shares what she wishes she knew as a newcomer on the field.
Rest takes a lot of work. At least, that’s what Ed Cyzewski claims. I can tell you this much from my own experience on the field: It won’t happen by accident. Pass this around.
Speaking of rest…Check out this article on napping. Just be sure you forward it to all your missionary friends (after your nap, of course).
Are you familiar with Missions Resource Network? Take a look at their library of helpful articles and information on everything related to missionary care.
This newsletter from Missions Interlink has a number of good articles. Check out “10 Myth Busters” and “Single & Missionary.” And if you happen to live in New Zealand, consider attending the debriefing workshop.
You’ve seen me link to articles from these folks nearly every week. Velvet Ashes is a community of missionary women who come alongside each other, virtually and in person, to foster health and growth. Direct the female global workers you know to their site; they will be blessed.
Know anyone in the support-raising phase of their ministry? They might like to attend one of these “bootcamps” presented by Support Raising Solutions. Four events between now and mid- November, in four locations.
Homeschooling can be challenging under any circumstances, but especially on the mission field where resources may be limited. This podcast is “packed full of wisdom from a TCK parent and is worth the listen –even if your kids are just toddlers and homeschool isn’t even on your radar.”
Here is another homeschooling resource your missionary friends may appreciate. Sparknotes is a service that provides summaries of many types of literature (a bit like Cliff Notes).
This post may be a bit late for this upcoming semester, but Craig’s helpful hints would be good to hang onto. Make sure your missionary friends are aware of these resources.
Missionary mom Elizabeth Trotter talks about how her parenting/homeschooling practices have evolved since being on the field. Know anyone who might appreciate this post?
Getting used to a new place—with strange foods, smells, and noises—can be a bit intimidating for children. Mariam Ottimofiore has some great advice for learning to love a new home.
Transition is often difficult, especially for children. But it is made even more difficult when those going through it do not have a way to talk about it. Marilyn Gardner explains why it is important to develop a language of transition.
Here are some great re-entry resources from Howard and Bonnie Lisech. They would be a really nice gift for your friend returning to the U.S.
This one could go under the heading of MKs as well. Counselor Kay Brunner talks about ways to help an anxious child through transition.
Multi-cultural teams are becoming more and more the norm these days on the mission field. Want to know how to pray for those you know who are part of one? Josie Oldenburg offers these suggestions.
Here’s another article on multi-cultural teams. Frank Severn talks about the benefits.
Want to learn more about how to walk alongside missionaries who have experienced mental health problems? If you live in Canada, you might want to look into these seminars by Outreach Canada.
This video by three missionary women will give you deeper understanding into the challenges of team dynamics and conflict resolution.
How is your soul? That’s a good question to ask missionaries. Kristen Welch explains why.
You will want these travel resources for when you go visit your friends on the field. In fact, they may like to have these, too. Share them. And here are some more great travel resources to help ensure your safety.
Use these ideas from Kelly Delp to develop your own understanding of other cultures—especially the culture of the country in which your missionary friends serve.
In-Person Care. That’s the theme of the last two editions of Catalyst Services newsletter. This issue talks about field retreats and crisis care. You’ll want to download the PDF.
Ten things your missionary will not tell you—by missionary Joe Holman. These are things you ought to know if you are to care well for your missionary friends.
Who better to provide you with missionary care resources than Barnabas International? Check out all the good stuff they have to offer on their recently redesigned web site.
The folks at sixteen:fifteen will be hosting a free webinar on the topic of church-led pre-field training. “In this webinar, we’ll look at the growing phenomenon of churches providing in-house, life-on-life training for effective ministry to the nations.”
MissionPREP offers pre-field training as well as debriefing. Their next debriefing event will be in December and is based on the DAR program at MTI.
LeRucher debriefing events “serve to help cross cultural field workers ‘unpack’ their time in service.” The next scheduled dates are August 6-11 and October 29-November 3, both to be held in Clarkesville, Georgia, USA.
The most effective time for debriefing is typically 2-3 months after missionaries return from the field. That makes this event on September 4-18 ideal for those who will return this summer. Hosted by Heartstream, this is a two-week intensive care program which includes debriefing, 10 sessions of counseling, daily worship, and classes on various topics relevant to cross-cultural work.
“When a person tells his story and is truly heart and understood, he undergoes actual changes in his brain circuitry…” (Curt Thompson, M.D.) Debriefing is the chance for field workers to tell their story in a way that benefits them. Recalibrate! is an excellent opportunity for that. Registration now for this October event.
That should keep you going for a while! Thank you for caring, and thank you for sharing. Please forward this post to all your friends so we can continue to cultivate a community of care.
What I’m reading this week:
- Th!nk, by Michael LeGault
- Winston S. Churchill: The Challenge of War, 1914-1916, by Martin Gilbert
- Consider Your Calling, by Gordon Smith
Just finished reading:
- Winston S. Churchill: Youth, 1874-1900, by Randolph S. Churchill
- Summer: A Spiritual Biography of the Season, Schmidt & Felch, eds.
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni
- How Is Your Soul?, by Judah Smith
- The Blue Parakeet, by Scot McKnight
- Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero
- Living Far Away, by Esther Abbott
- Moving Far Away, by Esther Abbott