Casual Early Autumn Friday
Eighteen years ago we had just returned from the mission field. No longer of a single culture; no longer simply Americans. Eighteen years ago we were more focused on the the country we’d left than the one we’d re-entered. Until September 11. The entire world was affected by what happened on that day. That includes the world of missions as well. New threats, new challenges, new opportunities to trust God are part of that new world. But some of the basic human needs are still the same. Needs that you can help meet with resources like these.
Sometimes operating a business is the best way to maintain a presence in certain countries. If you know anyone who is still working through the issues of how to fulfill their calling to serve overseas, this workshop may be helpful. Bootstrap Your Overseas Business is part of the new Global Trellis initiative started by Amy Young. Though the early discount will have expired by the time you read this, the workshop itself will always be available.
Here’s another article on BAM, from the folks at Lausanne. It enumerates ten guiding principles. Those who are considering this approach to missions may find it helpful.
The power of one simple question may surprise you. In your interactions with global workers, the questions you ask are the key to their sense of your care. John Certalic shares the importance of one question in particular in this podcast (transcription included).
It doesn’t get much more practical than this. Anisha Hopkinson offers a batch of questions that you can ask a visiting missionary over dinner. Questions like these are guaranteed to light up a misionary’s face. (I particularly like the one about books.)
Know anyone who could use a little help and encouragement in raising support? Tell them about this free e-book and the upcoming webinars from Tailored Fundraising.
How important are you to that missionary you support? Probably more than you realize. Catherine Morgan explains in this piece over at Support Raising Solutions: The Strategic Friendship of Financial Supporters.
Veteran missionary Miriam Davis talks about the costs and challenges of repatriation. She mentions ten, but there are certainly many more. Maybe you could add to the list? And while you’re looking at this article, scroll up a few pages and take a look at the one titled Future of Missions? Adapting to Shifting Paradigms. It will give you food for thought as you anticipate the type of care will be needed in this emerging missions scene.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
Does it really matter what a missionary eats? That’s the question C. Anderson asks in this provocative post about self-care. Know anyone who should read this?
Stillness is not usually a strength among North Americans. Missionaries are no exception. In fact, they may have more trouble than most in trying to be still. After all, the harvest is plentiful but the laborers? Not so much. Amy Young adds another element to the growing list of Global Trellis resources with this piece of how to be still. It even includes a calming video. Spread this one around.
Have you ever thought of need as a painful gift? Adult TCK and MK advocate, Michele Phoenix, muses on the topic from her personal experience.
We’ve sacrificed the Gift of Need to the comfort of isolation.
If you want to understand the MKs you know, if you want to be able to help them even when they don’t want to admit they need help, then you should read this post.
For many TCKs, the worst question to be asked is “Where are you from?” How in the world are they supposed to answer that? Dr. Rachel Cason suggests a work-around. Instead of asking an MK where they are from, ask (read for yourself). Add this to your tool box for working with MKs and TCKs.
Well, it’s too late to register for PTM. But maybe you’d be interested in this alternative: CareGivers Forum, to be held October 27-30 at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina. Join a wide spectrum of practitioners to interact, network, encourage each other, and develop your skills.
Are you concerned about friends who will be working in high-risk areas of the world? This security training may help you be more at peace. November 18-20, in San Diego, CA. Could you maybe sponsor someone to attend?
Know any women working near Ecuador who could use a refreshing break? Azmera will be hosting a retreat October 17-20. You could forward them this information. As a bonus, you could offer to pay their way.
Want to sharpen your interpersonal skills? Well, there’s a workshop by that very name, and the folks at Alongside will be hosting one October 27-November 1, in Richland, Michigan. More information is available through this link.
Who do you know working in Europe or South America? Who would you like to bless beyond belief with the gift of retreat? The folks at Thrive know how to provide spiritual, motional, and physical care to field workers, and there are three upcoming retreats you should know about: one in Estonia, in October one in Croatia, in February of 2020; and one in Brazil, in April of 2020. You could pay someone’s way. Or—check this out: You could be a volunteer at one of these retreats and bless many people! Get the details here.
Coming up October 20-25: ABIDE, from Train International. “ABIDE is a six-day debriefing retreat that provides time and space to process your experiences, be refreshed and renewed, connect with other cross-cultural workers, and prepare for a healthy transition.”
Marriage counseling is not just for couples who are experiencing problems. Any marriage can be enriched and revitalized through a good marriage retreat, like the one offered by Alongside. Coming up September 30-October 4. Who could you bless with the gift of this event?
As I wrote last week, suicide is a growing problem in America. It is also more present among global workers than we’d like to admit. Life on the field can be incredibly hard. Besides difficult living situations, there can also be extreme loneliness, a lacking sense of purpose, or a lingering sense of ineffectiveness.
You don’t try to kill yourself because death’s appealing—but because life’s agonizing.
Ann Voskamp addresses this delicate topic from her own experiences. Learn to identify the signs of hopelessness, life that is agonizing. Then learn how to come alongside those who feel trapped in such a life.
On a similar note, you may be interested in this series of podcasts that starts today. All about how undiagnosed and untreated symptoms of depression and anxiety took a toll on an overseas missionary. (There will be two more in the series.)
Not to beat a dead horse (or dragon in this case), here is another resource related to depression and its potential effects. Jim Burgens’ book, No More Dragons, offers help to break free from “broken dreams, lost hope, bad religion, and other monsters.” Believe me, there are plenty of those things built into the lives of many, many missionaries. You will want to read this for yourself. And you’ll likely want to pick up a few extra copies to give global workers you know who are fighting their own dragons.
There are many things that we should not forget. Let’s make sure that the needs of missionaries are among them.
New on my bookshelf:
- Love Well: Living Life Unrehearsed and Unstuck, by Jamie George
- Innovation in Mission, by Jim Reapsome and Jon Hirst
What I’m reading this week:
- Serving Well, by Elizabeth & Jonathan Trotter
- Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith
Recently finished reading:
- Getting Started: Making the most of your first year in cross-cultural service, by Amy Young
- Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
- Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller