I skipped last week’s post because I didn’t want to compete with Black Friday. (Personally, I wish it would just go away.) So this week I have a longer than usual list of missionary care resources for you to pick through. Pour yourself a cuppa and enjoy!

 

LIFE ON THE FIELD

Communication is vital for senders as well as sent ones.

When missionaries communicate with those back home, they’re not just passing on information, they’re actually providing a cup of cold water to brothers and sisters in Christ.

Jeff Jackson over at Shepherd’s Staff explains.

 

Silence is a commodity that may be difficult to acquire on the mission field, but it is worth pursuing. This brief video explains why. Your friends overseas should know about this, and so should you if you want to care well for them.

 

Interpersonal conflict remains one of the main reasons for missionary attrition. The problem is compounded on multi-cultural teams—and those are becoming more and more prevalent. If you know anyone serving on such a team, you should have them read this excellent piece by Dr. David Livermore.

 

This time of year can be difficult for those serving in another culture, especially if it’s their first year. So many traditions they are missing out on… Send them this piece by Alicia Boyce to help reinforce their gratitude.

 

Burnout is an all-too-common problem for global workers, especially for the new wave of social justice workers. This NY Times article can help them recognize the warning signals before disaster strikes. Forward this to all your missionary friends.

 

When a person takes up ministry in a foreign culture, it often seems that all of their weakness are on display—on steroids! Patty Stallings has some helpful advice on dealing with weakness that your friends on the field should read.

 

What are the barriers to self-care on the field? Kay Bruner not only identifies them, she offers solutions.

Some of us desperately need to say to God, “I trust you enough that I will lay this life of mine, including my precious ministry, down at your feet.

As someone who cares for missionaries, you need to have a good handle on this.

 

On a similar note, Erica Schreiber writes about wellbeing as the foundation for impact. Your missionary friends need to read this and then download the free PDF she offers that will help them assess their current state and create a simple plan to boost their wellbeing. (It wouldn’t be a bad idea for you, either).

 

Five ways to ensure hospitality remains a positive part of ministry. Rosie Button’s post might well be something your friends on the mission field could use.

 

TRANSITION

Jerry Jones, one of the funniest experts you’ll find on transition, makes this assertion:

In any transition, it is unfair to compare the end of the last thing to the beginning of the new thing.

Whether you know someone who should read this, or if you are caring for someone in transition, you will find Jerry’s advice to be spot-on.

 

MKs/TCKs

Many are becoming more and more convinced of the negative affect of social media on young people. Rachel Pieh Jones explores the way TCKs use it and how parents (and the rest of us) can help mitigate potential damage.

 

Katha, a guest blogger on Marilyn Gardner’s site, continues her thought-provoking look at the way nostalgia affects TCKs.

“Of all the ways of using history, nostalgia is the most general, looks the most innocent, and is perhaps the most dangerous” – Malcolm Chase

Read this to learn how to help TCKs use nostalgia in a productive way.

 

Lauren Wells continues her conversation on the challenge of subconscious expectations among TCKs. She offers good advice on how we can help them avoid the pitfalls. And if you haven’t read Part One of this conversation, be sure and click the link just under the photo.

 

Should MKs become missionaries when they grow up? Adult MK Marilyn Gardner says not necessarily so. You need to know why.

 

Will you be opening your home to MKs this Christmas? Here are some sample questions you might want to ask them—questions they would be eager to answer. And here’s an expanded version of those questions.

 

The folks at The Missions Blog offer a couple of podcasts: How can we support missionary kids? and Caring for missionary families as they engage in transition. If you interact at all with MKs, you will want to listen to these.

 

RISK ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT

Nothing gets the conversation about safety on the mission field more riled up than the subject of children. Rachel Pieh Jones insists that “I’m not called to keep my kids from danger” in this piece she wrote for Christianity Today. What do you think?

 

Listen to this podcast to learn more about evacuations, go packs, trusted national contacts, and shelters in place. Courtesy of Shepherd’s Staff.

 

EVENTS

“Adelante is a holistic assessment, training and coaching experience for workers living and serving cross-culturally, who have been in their current context between 1-5 years.” A unique opportunity offered by SentWell in Malaga, Spain.

 

EQUIP YOURSELF

How to develop a pipeline in your church for sending harvest workers. This PDF from The Upstream Collective includes some important care components.

 

Active listening is one of the most valuable and effective skills you can employ in caring well for missionaries. Do yourself a favor: print out this article by Amanda Zantal-Wiener and practice what she preaches.

 

Not sure how you can encourage your missionary friend? Think you don’t have much to offer? Michelle DeRusha wants you to know the value of small gestures.

 

This handy infographic from the folks at HonorShame will help you understand what your friends on the field contend with. It might even be something you want to send them.

 

Every shepherd needs a shepherd. If you want to shepherd well the global workers God has but in your path, you should ponder this piece by Spring Davis.

 

Speaking of shepherding … Kelly Delp offers some good reminders to those of us who have the privilege of shepherding God’s harvest force.

[Shepherding is] about hearing the heart of the Father and finding ways to express that to the people around us.

 

UP YOUR GAME

Missionary care is a very broad field. Every member of the Body of Christ can and should be involved. But to what extent? Should you be a generalist or a specialist? This article will only take you 10 minutes to read, but hours to digest.

 

Here’s an interesting piece about the way small changes can have a global impact. Want to help Paracletos change the missionary care paradigm? Read this.

 

Deep thinking. It’s far too uncommon, and getting more rare with every passing day of social media. Want to ensure that you listen well to your missionary friends? Want to help them to think well? Read this meaty article by Michelle Phoenix.

 

Obviously at this time of year we are reminded of how it was that we came to enjoy salvation. Let’s also remember there are billions of people on our planet that do not yet know of that gift. Your efforts of caring for global workers will ensure that many of them get the chance.

What I’m reading this week:

  • The Emotionally Healthy Woman, by Gerri Scazzero (reading with my wife)
  • Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert
  • The Uninvited Companion, by Scott Shaum
  • The Birth, by Gene Edwards

Just finished reading:

  • Seeker of Stars, by Susan Fish
  • Cosmic Christmas, by Max Lucado
  • The Innkeeper, by John Piper
  • The Space Between Words, by Michele Phoenix
  • Th!nk, by Michael LeGault
  • Writing a Winning Support Letter, by Mike Kim

Up next:

  • Consider Your Calling, by Gordon Smith
  • Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero
  • Living Far Away, by Esther Abbott
  • Moving Far Away, by Esther Abbott

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