Casual End of Summer Friday

Sep 7, 2018 | Blog, Casual Friday, Missionary Care

Sorry I missed posting last week. The recent death of a friend and travels made for more work than I was willing to muster. I think this week’s links will more than make up for it. It may be the end of summer, but the need for encouraging missionaries knows no end.



Are you living, I mean truly living? Do you have a plan B for your life? The author of this post challenges single women, in particular, to develop contentment with God’s plans for life. Know any singles who should read this?



You may have relationships with missionaries that involve speaking into their lives. Encouraging them to take care of their soul, warning them about burnout, helping them resist the pressures and temptations of life on the field—these are strategic roles. This article by Stephen Smith was written with leaders in mind, but it applies equally to global workers. Read it for yourself, to know what to address, then send it to those you know and love on the mission field.


Resilience is the hot topic of discussion these days in the world of missionary care. This issue of Missions Interlink Bulletin has a good article about what is involved in resilience, from the perspective of someone on the field.


Here’s another great article on the topic of resilience, by Southwick and Charney, the authors of Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges.

In sum, people who are resilient tend to be flexible.

You may be surprised by some of the other components of resilience.


Preparing meals on the mission field can be a daunting task for newbies. Denise James, over at Taking Route, offers this list of 10 cookbooks that your friends on the field will probably appreciate.


We’ve mentioned before the value of play as a form of spiritual refreshment, but laziness? Don’t assume that Chris Bailey is off his rocker in this article. This could be some of the most helpful advice a missionary could receive. Try it yourself, then pass it on.


Newsletters are an important part of the communication plan for most missionaries. Josie Oldenburg, former journalist, offers eight tips for producing effective newsletters. Probably every missionary you know could use these tips.


Stupid expat days. That’s Jerry Jones’ name for what often ends up being far too much of one’s time overseas. As usual, Jerry reframes his perspective through humor—and some serious contemplation. Read this one for fun, then share it with your global worker friends who could use a laugh.


In The Message version of Matthew 11, Jesus urges his followers to learn from him “the unforced rhythms of grace.” That is exactly what is need to maintain spiritual vitality on the mission field, and it is exactly what Velvet Ashes is attempting to facilitate for its readers. Check this out to see what I mean.



In the midst of change it is good to hang onto that which does not (and cannot) change. That’s the essence of Lilly’s message in this post. Share this with those you know who are facing the upheaval of transition.



If you are involved in the life of an older TCK who is having difficulty adjusting to life in the U.S., this article by Dr. Rachel Cason will be helpful.


Know any parents traveling to and from the mission field with young children? Lauren Wells offers 10 creative ways to keep young ones entertained on longer flights.



Train International will be hosting a re-entry debriefing program called Abide October 16-21. Registration deadline is September 24, so time is of the essence.


The folks at People Raising will be hosting a conference in Oak Brook, Illinois September 28-29. They say they can help reduce the amount of time it takes to raise support by as much as half. Surely you know someone who could benefit from this.


Know any men working in Europe who could use a breather? Catalyst International will be hosting Traction, a renewal conference for men serving cross-culturally. September 19-25, in the beautiful Swiss Alps.


Know any women working near Uganda or Cyprus who could use a refreshing break? An Azmera retreat may be just the ticket. You can even volunteer to help. Or perhaps you would like to contribute toward a scholarship for someone who might not be able to attend otherwise. Get all the details here.


There are a couple annual gatherings of care providers that you may want to consider attending. They are great opportunities to build upon your skill set and develop a network of like-minded people for the enhancement of your ministry to missionaries. The CareGivers Forum is one event. It will be held October 21-24 at the Green Lake Conference Center in Wisconsin. The other event is PTM: Pastoral Training in MemberCare, to be held at the Ridgecrest Conference Center in Asheville, NC October 2-5. If you live in the area and cannot attend the whole event, you may want to consider coming to the pre-conference workshop to be led by Neal Pirolo. His topic will be “developing and building a church-based member care plan.”


Registration is now open for the Thrive retreat to be held in Ghana April 29-May 2, 2019. Did you know that you could apply to be a volunteer to help facilitate Thrive retreats? You can find more information for attendee and volunteers here.



Missionary life tends to be highly mobile. So many things change, quickly and often. That’s why the Trotters recommend tent pegs: a support system for portable living. You should know about this, because there are likely pegs that you can provide. Read this and see what comes to mind.


This article? So, so good. Much has been written about the grief of losing a loved one, but there are many, many other types of grief as well, not the least of which is the loss of a dream. And almost without exception, missionaries will experience such grief. When you come alongside them in their sorrow, how will you help? William Jackson’s post will start you on the right foot.


Just for fun, read Craig Thompson’s riff on autocomplete. Oh yeah, living overseas will mess with your autocomplete! Enjoy.


The folks at Good Neighbor Insurance want you and those you care about to travel safely. That’s why they offer several great downloads: a guide to conquering jetlag; the top three risks of overseas travel; overseas travel safety; and a travel medical guide. You should get them all, and you should let your missionary friends know about them, too. And you just might want to see what they offer in terms of insurance…



If you visit missionaries on the field, to minister to them in whatever way, you will appreciate these helpful suggestions from Nairy Ohanian. Following these guidelines will help you avoid all kinds of physical and emotional exhaustion—important if you want to be fully available to those you go to serve.


Want to get an advanced perspective on missionary care issues? Are you looking for a place to network with professional care providers? Mental Health and Missions may be for you. Hosted by Barnabas International and held in northeastern Indiana, registration is now open for this November 15-18 event. Early registration discount expires at the end of September.


Thanks for stopping by. Never underestimate the value of your involvement in a missionary’s life.

New on my bookshelf:

  • Souvenirs of Solitude, by Brennan Manning
  • Desired by God, by Van Moody
  • Dying Well, by John Wyatt
  • Gen Z: The culture, beliefs, and motivations shaping the next generation, by Barna
  • Insurgence, by Frank Viola
  • Sojourner’s Workbook: A guide to thriving cross-culturally, by Connie Befus
  • Christianity at the Crossroads: How the second century shaped the future of the church, by Michael Kruger
  • Innovation in Mission: Insights into practical innovations creating kingdom impact, by Jim Reapsome and Jon Hirst

What I’m reading this week:

  • The Garlic Ballads, by Mo Yan
  • Inspired: Slaying giants, walking on water, and loving the Bible again, by Rachel Evans
  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
  • The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, George Long trans.
  • How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth, by Gordon Fee
  • Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert

Recently finished reading:

  • Summer: A Spiritual Biography,
  • Understanding Gender Dysphoria, by Mark Yarhouse
  • Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero
  • Extreme Teams, by Robert Shaw
  • Receiving Sent Ones During Re-entry, by Zach Bradley
  • Stones of Remembrance, by Lois Evans and Jane Rubietta
  • Group Glue: The collective power of…group questions, by Jeffrey Cook

Up next:

  • The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
  • Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan
  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith