Casual Friday: Be the gift

Nov 4, 2016 | Casual Friday, Transition

Well, it’s that time of year already. Halloween is over and Christmas is upon us…or so it would seem. Rather than bemoan the fact that everyone seems to be jumping the gun, why not start planning now for how you intend to bless the missionaries in your life. You’ll find plenty of ideas in these Casual Friday posts, including a few in this week’s edition.


An inside look at missionary life

Ever wonder what life on the field is like for your missionary friends? The Heffron family offers this candid peek. Their experiences are common, if not the norm, for those who work cross-culturally.


Transitions from a child’s perspective

Judy Hansen uses her own story to remind us that children must cope with the challenges of transition just as their parents do. Keep this in mind as you pray for and encourage the missionary families you know.


Five marks of a missions healthy church

You might want to download this and take it to your next missions committee meeting. The folks at Catalyst Services always have some very practical advice.


The remedy for pain

Global harvesters must endure all manner of pain: relational tensions with co-workers, natural disasters, political instability, disease and illness, continual losses…on and on. Tara Livesay references Seth Haines’ book Coming Clean to talk about how to cope with all that pain. You probably know a missionary who would benefit from this.


Support raising

The perennial issue, right? I’ve met very few missionaries who were fully funded, and none who raised their support once and were able to forget about it forever after. Referrals are a key component in discovering full support; this article provides some helpful guidelines for developing them.


Considering business as mission?

The folks at Antioch Journey are offering a 31-day challenge/guide to help you investigate the possibilities. While you’re there, check out their assessment tool and other resources.


Resilient marriages

My friend Geoff Whiteman recently linked to this handy infographic about the essential elements of healthy marriages. Couples on the mission field need all the reinforcement they can get. Send this to the ones you know.


The importance of self-care

Paul Sohn offers a handy checklist that would serve as an excellent starting point for missionaries to consider this vital area.

No one ever told you, but taking care of yourself is part of your job. It’s not optional.

You could also use these concepts to help you craft sensitive questions that you can employ to nudge your missionary friends toward better self-care.


One of the main roadblocks to rest

And speaking of self-care…Rest is a key component (and an absolute essential element) of proper care.

If you struggle with guilt about taking time to rest, then perhaps you are trying to implement a Sabbath routine instead of a rhythm of rest.

Shelly Miller, author of Rhythms of Rest, suggests what might be the biggest hindrance to rest. All of your missionary friends should know about this.


How to be a great listener

This Harvard Business Review is full of great information about what makes a great listener and how you can become one. It’s what missionaries need most – someone to listen.


The best gift a missionary can have is a caring friend. Be the gift.


What I’m reading this week:

  • You Are What You Love, by James Smith
  • Moments With the Master, by Ken Gire
  • Called to be Saints, by Gordon Smith

Just finished:

  • It’s My Pleasure, by Dee Ann Turner
  • Bittersweet, by Shauna Niequist
  • Autumn: A spiritual biography of the season, edited by Gary Schmidt & Susan Felch

Up next:

  • Seven Days That Divide the World, by John Lennox
  • Delighting in the Trinity, by Michael Reeves