Casual Fresh Friday
What a week we’ve had! Earthquakes, deadly viruses, political drama… Whether or not your friends overseas have been affected by current events, they certainly could use your ongoing encouragement. Share these resources with them, and with anyone you know who wants to care well for the global workers in their life. (Hope you enjoy the new format.)
(How the Great Shepherd cares for his own)
Though Advent is over, this reflection from Gina Butz is still appropriate. As people who have lived and ministered in a foreign context, it is easy to feel like no one back home gets you.
The enemy loves it when we believe that no one understands.
But Jesus is a shepherd who has been one of us. He knows. He understands. He’s been where we are, felt what we feel, faced what we face. He knows how to come to the aid of his own.
(Good spiritual hygiene for global workers)
Financial concerns are among the greatest burdens that many missionaries carry. Developing and maintaining a team of supporters takes time, energy, and intentionality. Without that team, inadequate financial resources lead to extra stress and possible attrition. This post from C. Anderson offers advice on the use of support letters. Share this with the missionaries with whom you partner.
Dealing with the grief that accompanies loss is part of good spiritual hygiene. Many losses (that should be grieved) go unnoticed by global workers.
When you lose something that has grounded you and is a major part of who you are, in any capacity, loss takes place.
Grief specialist Katie Brown explains why every missionary should know how to recognize and deal with their losses in a healthy way.
(Missionaries caring for one another)
Ladies, do you know what a Connection Group is? Joanna Suich thinks you should. She shares how this aspect of Velvet Ashes’s ministry has blessed her. Participation in such a group may be the breath of fresh air you’ve been hoping for. (There is an opportunity to sign up for a group in this post.)
Peer-to-peer interaction among women on the mission field can be a godsend. Retreats are an opportunity to practice all the one another injunctions in scripture.
We at Velvet Ashes recognize the gift of retreat.
That’s why the folks at Velvet Ashes are committed to hosting virtual events that can accessed by women all over the world. “We all know there are a lot of options for you to pursue,” writes Denise Beck. This is one of the best. Coming up April 23-26. Get the details here.
(Resources to help sending churches care for their sent ones)
What are the biblical qualities of good missionary care? Andy Johnson shares 5 principles from the shortest book in the Bible. How does your church stack up?
You know that missionaries are required to make all kinds of sacrifices in order to do what they do. And they know before they ever leave home. But they rarely know all the types of sacrifice they will end up encountering. Jenilee Goodwin’s post will introduce you to some of those. How will knowing this impact your care for the global workers you care about?
What if your missionary friend doesn’t want to go on home assignment? Can you imagine? Why would anyone not want to come home for a visit? Part of the answer has to do with the definition of home, and how hearts are divided between two homes. This candid post will add layers to your understanding of how to care for returning missionaries.
If you live anywhere near North Richland Hills, TX and you want to learn more about how to care for your missionaries, you should check this out. Experienced missionary care providers will be presenting Missionary Care Summit, March 27-28, and it’s only $20. Sponsored by Mission Resource Network and Great Cities Missions.
(Professional level help)
Intensive care for restoration of global workers, debriefing, counseling, member care training—all of these are available from Heartstream Resources. When you need to refer a missionary to professional care, you need to know about Heartstream.
There’s still time to register for the next Recalibrate! debriefing event. Hosted by Paracletos at Baan Sabai Lodge February 23-29. Ideal for anyone who has returned to the U.S. within the last several months.
Want to be trained in debriefing? Paracletos is offering 4 opportunities this year (March, June, August, and November). Openings for 6 individuals for each of these 5-day trainings. Email me for details.
It’s not too early to start thinking about re-entry programs for MKs—like Reboot. They have limited space for their program next summer, so early registration is encouraged. Who could you sponsor?
Debriefing is one of the best things a missionary can do for themselves while going through a transition. The folks at Barnabas, International will be hosting two more opportunities in 2020: Interlude will be held in June, and July. Check here for more information. You may want to begin planning now to send your favorite missionary to one of these—your gift to them.
The folks at Thrive Ministry will be hosting 4 retreats this year: Colorado (USA), Croatia, Brazil, and South Africa. Did you know that you can volunteer to help staff those retreats? And did you know that you can sponsor someone to attend? Learn more here.
This looks like a phenomenal opportunity to gain an overall education in missionary care. Frontiers will be conducting a five-day conference in April called CareCon, “designed for pastors, church staff, family members, ministry partners, and anyone who wants to support global workers.” I am now registered. Will I see you there?
Here is another debriefing retreat for you to consider. Excelling Leaders will be hosting their next event February 25 – March 5 in Tampa, Florida. Check here for details.
(Useful titles to have on your m’care bookshelf)
I can’t begin to number the times I’ve recommended this book to the missionaries I’ve met. And I can’t count the number of these books I’ve given away. It’s that good. Amy’s advice is hard-earned and eminently practical. She offers step-by-step advice for turning chaos into calm confidence during the messy, stressful time of transition. You’ll want at least one copy on your m’care bookshelf (more if you like to give things away).
For Deeper Thought
(Longer reads or chewier subjects for you to muse on)
Someone told us once that when we leave to serve overseas, we take snapshots of our good-byes. We pull those pictures out, now and again, to relive that moment—to reinforce that memory. But memory is plastic, as Jed Ostoich points out in this challenging article. How do you think that reality can affect the way you care for your missionary friend? How can you keep memories from usurping present relationships?
So long for this week. See you here again next time you stop by to equip yourself and the missionaries you love.