Casual First Friday of Summer

Jun 21, 2019 | Blog, Casual Friday

Summer officially begins today. I hope Indiana gets the memo. So far we’ve had nearly incessant rain; more like spring than summer. Many of you will have extra opportunities to interact with missionaries while they are on home assignment this summer. Be ready to bless them real good. Equip yourself with resources like these.



Do you feel like you could never do what your missionary friend does? Have you ever told her that? Missionary Shilo Cain has heard versions of that statement more often than she can remember. Her response? You’ll have to read it for yourself.


Someone you know and love is returning from the field. (Maybe even your own child.) Perhaps for a visit; perhaps permanently. How do you welcome her in appropriate and helpful ways?

Your loved one changed in ways she has difficulty articulating.

Patty has some fantastic advice in this post. Pass this one around to everyone you know who will be welcoming a field worker back this summer.



I’m sure you realize that not every missionary lives in the jungle. Many endure the challenges of urban settings that are often quite hard on their souls. A recent study suggests a very simple way to boost their wellbeing. Know anyone you should send this to?


Don’t we all wish we knew “then” what we know “now”? That’s certainly true for global workers. Some things can only be learned by experience. But if she could give her younger self some advice from the future, this is what missionary Abby Alleman would say. Bound to be an encouragement to someone you know just starting out on the field.


Newcomers on the field have enough to navigate without team relationship issues. How can an existing team do a good job of integrating newbies? Larry McCrary explores that topic in this, part two of his series on receiving well. Know anyone on the field who would appreciate this?


What’s life on the mission field really like? How do missionaries cope with all the challenges?

Life in a foreign context invites unending surprises and unwelcome interruptions almost daily.

Heather Fallis’ post will enrich your prayers for the global workers you know.



Know anyone who is trying to raise support with kids in tow? In this podcast from Support Raising Solutions, SIM missionary Erin Bergen “discusses the sometimes challenging/hilarious and even possibly gross challenges that come with having kids present at a support raising presentation.”



Saying good-bye can be painful, especially when it is permanent. Writer Marilyn Gardner, recently forced to say good-bye against her will, shares about the importance of honoring the grief that goes with it. I bet you know someone who needs this.


Ah, the revolving door that is the mission field. People come and go incessantly. It can be hard on both side of the equation—for those who are arriving and those who are staying.

Sometimes the greatest culture shock we experience comes from our interaction with other expats.

Lilly offers some sound advice for both groups that should take the edge off for everyone.


“Goodbyes are not something to blaze through and get over.” So says global worker Danielle Wheeler, and she has a bit of experience dealing with goodbyes.

If you are in a season of grief and loss, let yourself be sad.

Practical, comforting advice here for anyone you know who is experiencing the loss of transition.


Did you know that a raft is highly recommended for transitions? Well, not the kind you float down the river. Helen Watts describes the type of RAFT that helps missionaries finish well on one end, navigate their transition with skill, and land on the other side ready to go.



Raising a third culture kid comes with some concerns, as Rosalie Duryee admits in this post. How will her candid disclosures affect your prayers form MKs and their parents alike?


Is the concept of “home” really all that important? Author and TCK Jo Swinney thinks so. And so does Dr. Rachel Cason, who reviews her book Home: The Quest to Belong. You might want to pick up a copy to educate yourself a bit on the topic.



It’s not too early to begin making plans to attend PTM (Pastoral Training in Membercare) – the one event we personally are determined to make every year. Join a few hundred member care people ranging from multi-year veterans to newbies. One of the best and most practical events of its kind.


There’s still two weeks left to register for Reboot—“a transition retreat for MKs aged 17-20 who are currently or have recently returned to Canada.” To be held in Ontario, July 13-20. Who could you sponsor for such a blessing?


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?


Are you working with someone in the early stages of determining their calling? The Journey Deepens offers a weekend retreat designed to help people discern their next step. You might want to consider attending along with the person you are mentoring. Coming up in September, in Indianapolis.



What does the concept of companionship mean to you? What does it look like? Scott Shaum, shepherd of other shepherds, implores us to make companioning of others a core element of all our life.

We cannot mass produce life change.

Some chewy thoughts, some helpful resources, and this prayer for us all: “May the Spirit grant us to grow into being masters of the craft of abiding: with Christ, with his word and with one another.” Make it so, Lord.


What’s in a word? A rose is a rose… Hold on a minute, Shakespeare. When it comes to human beings, terms of reference can be very important—and difficult to choose. Rachel Pieh Jones, a missionary in Djibouti, refers to herself as an expatriate. What’s the difference between that and an immigrant? Can missionaries be immigrants? For that matter, is it important whether we refer to such people as global workers, missionaries, or something else? I’d love to hear your thoughts…


 May your summer prove to be a delightful time of relishing all that our good Father lavishes upon us of his creative beauty and relational bounty. And may that abundance cascade off of you onto all in your sphere of influence.


New on my bookshelf:

·   Love Well: Living Life Unrehearsed and Unstuck, by Jamie George

·       Innovation in Mission, by Jim Reapsome and Jon Hirst

·       Serving Well, by Elizabeth & Jonathan Trotter


What I’m reading this week:

·    The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown

·       Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith

·       Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel

·       Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (updated), by Peter Scazzero

·       The Return of the King, by JRR Tolkien


Recently finished reading:

·       Beloved Dust, by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel

·       Invitation to Retreat, by Ruth Haley Barton

·       Spring, A Spiritual Biography of the Season, Gary Schmidt ed.

·       Secrets of Dynamic Communication, by Ken Davis

·       A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live, by Emily Freeman


Up next:

·       Serving Well, by Jonathan and Elizabeth Trotter

·       Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller

·       Summer, A Spiritual Biography of the Season, Gary Schmidt ed.