Casual Every Little Bit Helps Friday
The horrific events unfolding in Houston, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh this past week remind us all of how desperately we need each other to be the expression of God’s care and compassion. Physical tragedies produce obvious opportunities to step up and contribute whatever little bit we might have in hopes of helping someone in need. When it comes to caring for missionaries, your “little bit” is worth more than you probably realize, and more desperately needed as well.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
Emily Casada responds to the oft-heard question, “Don’t you just love it?” Reality is rarely simple. This is what it’s like for many of those you care about on the mission field.
Closely related to Emily’s post is this piece by Kathleen Shumate. Attitude makes such a difference, and you can play a vital role in helping your friends on the field maintain a healthy perspective.
Most of the global workers you know and love work on teams. One of the biggest reasons missionaries quit is…you guessed it, co-worker problems. You might want to forward this article by Kelly Delp to those you want to help succeed on a team.
Stressed from core to cosmos. That’s how Lois Dodds describes ministry! Read this to expand your understanding of what life is really like for your friends on the field. Then forward it to those who are in the early stages of adjusting to the challenges of cross-cultural service.
Five challenges missionaries face and how your church can help. You’ll want to see this article by Mark Pfuetze and consider how to implement his suggestions.
Know anyone raising special-needs kids on the mission field? MaDonna Maurer has some helpful insights you should pass on to them.
REST & RESPITE
Some wise words here from Lore Wilbert. The best thing we can do to help our friends stay spiritually healthy on the mission field is to stay healthy ourselves. We should all practice this so we can have credibility when we encourage our missionary friends to do the same.
Coming to Peoria, Illinois November 16-19, the International Conference On Missions (ICOM) will include a missionary care track. You should consider attending. Check out this Facebook page for more details.
Take a look at the women’s retreats sponsored by Azmera. They also offer opportunities for you to volunteer at the retreats, so there’s something for your missionary friends and for yourself.
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 October 29-November 3, to be held in Clarkesville, Georgia, USA.
“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 for this October event closes September 15.
Every missionary matters to God—even (maybe even especially) those who come home in a basket. Far too often broken, battered, weary, depressed global workers return to their passport country feeling like failures. This brief article should eradicate any temptation on our part to write them off.
This Harvard Business Review article reveals what great listeners actually do. When it comes to this essential skill in caring for missionaries, we all need to continue to learn and grow.
Harriet Hill’s post will give you a good overview of the issues involved in missionary care. Each of the topics she mentions could be a great research project for you.
Marilyn Gardner warns about information overload and the cost of caring. The care we offer global workers must come from our reliance upon the Lord. This older piece by Tish Harrison Warren offers good advice for how to cope with the pain that often goes with our work.
Closely related to compassion fatigue is the fear and anxiety that can accompany exposure to so many scary bits of information and dangerous situations. Julie Beck writes in this article for The Atlantic that “spreading fear and worry about issues you care about on social media can lead to burnout rather than action.” An excellent and thought-provoking reminder for us as well as for those who serve in missions.
“We are focused on helping churches identify, train, guide, send, support, and shepherd their own people as their missionary-representatives in strategic fields…” Interested? Then you need to head over to Propempo.
Helen Watts tells missionaries how to share their story in a productive way. Spread this one around.
UP YOUR GAME
Depression has been referred to as the common cold of missionaries. Surprised? Learn more about what triggers depression in this presentation.
John Amodeo offers six ways to sharpen your listening skills. For those who want to “go pro.”
Thank you for making yourself available to be used by God as an expression of his compassionate care for those who labor on his behalf in the harvest fields. Even so, come Lord Jesus.
New on my nightstand (books that arrived this week):
- Algorithms to Live By: The computer science of human decisions, by Christian & Griffiths
- The Emotionally Healthy Woman, by Geri Scazzero
- Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less, by Greg McKeown
- The Organized Mind: Thinking straight in an age of information overload, by Daneil Levitin
What I’m reading this week:
- Living Far Away, by Esther Abbott
- 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
- Moving Far Away, by Esther Abbott