Casual First of May Friday

May 3, 2019 | Casual Friday

Well, April sure went out with a bang. Snow for many of you; tornadoes and severe storms for many of the rest of us. But May flowers are out in profusion. A beautiful reminder that God is still in control, and he delights to give us beautiful things to enjoy. How might you be a delight to the soul of some missionary this week? These resources will give you some ideas.

 

PRE-FIELD

Here is a one-week online course designed to help people “get onto their unique pathway for healthy and fruitful service.” From the folks at Grow 2 Serve. Might be something you want to do along with the person you’re mentoring.

 

Are you helping someone who is just getting started down the missions path? Amy Medina offers the practical list of things every missionary should know before they go. You could coach your friend by offering to do some of these studies together.

 

EQUIP YOURSELF

Looking for information about soul care? How about the connection between the body and the soul? Or the need for Sabbath? Then you should check out The Potter’s Inn and their new series of podcasts. You will find them helpful for yourself, and you may want to forward some of them to those you know on the mission field.

 

An entire ministry dedicated to the purpose of championing rest? That’s right. Run Hard – Rest Well offers retreats, books, courses, and other resources to help you and those you help to practice biblical Sabbath.

 

A while back we featured part one of Craig Thompson’s look back at missionary attrition. Now part two is up, and it’s quite interesting. Though many things have changed since these figures were compiled, the essence behind them has stayed fairly intact. What can you learn from this?

 

Want to know what good missionary care looks like in a sending church? Take a look at what Trinity Church is doing. How can you emulate what they are doing in your church?

 

LIFE ON THE FIELD

In our desire to come alongside our friends on the mission field, we need to remember that part of God’s provision for their well-being is likely to be the people among whom they serve. Jane explains what that looked like for her during a time when she had a hard decision to make. Your partners who are serving cross-culturally will benefit from her thoughts.

 

Believe it or not, there are times in the life of most missionaries when they want to quit. The feeling can be particularly strong during their first year or so on the field, but it’s not limited to that. They may even tell you that they’re thinking of quitting. How would you counsel them? How can they know if they are meant to quit? Well, this short article by Russell Moore offers some good guidelines—for you and for them.

 

Do you expect the global workers with whom you partner to do nothing? You should. At least, that is, in the way that Olga Mecking describes in this New York Times article. How can you promote this concept?

 

The folks at Shepherd’s Staff have posted 10 resources for planning a missionary self-care regimen. Good for you to know, even better for your missionary friends to know.

 

It’s true: you never get a second chance to do something for the first time. But the second time around can be greatly enhanced by what was learned the first time. Kristy Wacek applies that thinking to her second term on the mission field—something that may resonate with missionaries you know.

 

Screen time is a topic of much discussion here in the U.S. How much is healthy? Should there be limits? For newcomers on the mission field, that smart phone and those social media apps can be a lifeline. Or they can be an anchor that drags you down. Heather Fallis explains the do’s and don’ts in this practical post.

 

The almost-right way: Good enough, or recipe for disaster? Karen Huber shares candidly about the time almost right turned into almost devastating. The people you know on the mission field will likely be faced with many pressures to make decisions quickly. After all, the fields are white and the laborers are few. Sometimes faith demands waiting. Spread this one around.

 

Emily Gibson’s poems and photography are a source of refreshment that any missionary would appreciate. Here is a good example.

I am called to quieting.

Share this with those you know who would benefit from a little quieting.

 

 

TRANSITION

It’s that time of year. Soon missionaries will begin flooding back to their sending countries for a time of home assignment. How can you receive them well? This article will give you some good ideas.

 

Is a missionary furlough just an extended vacation? That’s the question Jeff Jackson, from Shepherd’s Staff Mission Facilitators, addresses in this timely piece. How can you help facilitate these various aspects of home assignment?

 

Repatriating to one’s sending country can be even more unsettling than the shock of first entering a missionary’s host culture. Elizabeth Spencer talks about the challenges and adjustments of returning to her passport country. Good stuff to know for when you get the chance to walk alongside someone who is returning.

 

EVENTS

This retreat promises a “high-yield, biblical, transformative rhythm” that will equip ministry workers to “navigate 24/7 from a place of strength, sustainability, and joy.” Who could you send to this event next week (May 9)?

 

The Art of Transition is a weeklong retreat coming up in August (the registration deadline is 15 May) which will be hosted in Turkey. Can’t make it to the actual event? Check out the virtual cohort (register before June 1).

 

Resilience is the buzz word these days in missionary care. How can missionaries develop sustainable lifestyles and ministry habits? The folks at CIT (Center for Intercultural Training) are offering a 2 week online course that your missionary friends can take either next week (April 24-May 8) or later this summer (August 28-September 11).

 

It’s not too early to begin making plans to attend PTM – 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.

 

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. Two events to choose from: May 20-24, and 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.

 

Interaction International will be hosting a transition seminar for MKs/TCKs who will be re-entering the U.S. this summer. July 20-26 in Colorado Springs. You should consider sponsoring someone for this event. Research has shown that re-entry events are the most helpful resource available to young people transitioning back into their passport culture.

 

 

Be the blessing you pray your missionary friends will receive.

 

New on my bookshelf:

  • Innovation in Mission, by Jim Reapsome and Jon Hirst
  • The Life of God in the Soul of Man, by Henry Scougal
  • Serving Well, by Elizabeth & Jonathan Trotter

 

What I’m reading this week:

  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith
  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
  • The Two Towers, by JRR Tolkien

 

Recently finished reading:

  • Dying Well, by John Wyatt
  • This Is Marketing, by Seth Godin
  • The Fellowship of the Ring, by JRR Tolkien
  • Building a Storybrand, by Donald Miller
  • The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
  • Finish First, by Scott Hamilton
  • Healing the Wounds of Trauma: How the Church Can Help, by Hill, Hill, Bagge, & Miersma

 

Up next:

  • Invitation to Retreat, by Ruth Haley Barton
  • The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown

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