Casual Friday Care Resources
Hard to believe that April is almost over. What has been on your to-do list that you haven’t gotten around to yet? Whatever it is, I trust your desire to add to your missionary care skills hasn’t been buried. To borrow a line from the folks at Cracker Barrel, here’s an assortment of the best missionary care resources we could find this week.
RISK ASSESSMENT & MANAGEMENT
In today’s volatile world, it is wise to have contingency plans in place for those we send into it. Crisis Consulting International should be on your radar. They can help you with risk assessment, security surveys, hostage resolution, and more.
Here’s another counseling resource to add to your list: Oak Biblical Counseling and Member Care. Not only do they offer care for missionaries, they can teach you how to do it as well (click on the “Services” tab).
The desire to provide a nurture team for each of your sent ones is commendable. The key to a successful team starts with the selection of its members. Jeff Jackson speaks to that in this post, with some great questions to ask potential team members, and the necessary character qualities to look for.
It’s finally here! This book, written by veteran missionaries Elizabeth and Jonathan Trotter, is one that you’ll probably want several copies of: one for yourself, and one for each of your missionary friends. “Are you dreaming of working abroad? Imagining serving God in another land? Or are you already on the field, unsure about what to do next or how to manage the stresses of cross-cultural life? Or perhaps you’ve been on the field a while now, and you’re weary, maybe so weary that you wonder how much longer you can keep going.” If you are involved in the life of anyone in any of the above categories, you’ll want to have this book.
Did you know that stayers are just as important as goers? (And maybe not in the way you’re thinking.) Marilyn Gardner explains in this post. You can be one of this special breed of stayers.
Coaching is an excellent way of helping missionaries stay healthy and productive. Perhaps you are a coach, or would like to be. You should know about this practical resource: Culturally Intelligent Coaching for Missions and Ministry, by Tina Horst.
No-cost confidential counseling on the field? Yes, Please! The folks at WITS International would love to hear from you if you know of anyone who would benefit from their services. You do know someone, right?
LIFE ON THE FIELD
Frequent transitions can make it hard to develop long-term friendships on the mission field. That could be a temptation to not even try. Christie Chu disagrees. Read why she believes short-term relationships are valuable.
Team conflict is one of the leading reasons missionaries leave the field. How can teams welcome newcomers effectively? What part does the sending church play in the receiving process? Larry McCrary has launched a series on this topic that you may want to follow.
If only I knew then what I know now… How many times have you had that thought? Missionaries have it frequently. Rosalie Duryee writes a letter to her pre-expat self that you might want to pass on to the missionaries you know who are just getting started.
“Transition, grief, homesickness, culture shock, not fully belonging anywhere, starting over in community—these all expose our brokenness and our need for restoration.” Or, what Lilly goes on to say, our need for shalom. Her post will fuel your prayers and encourage your friends on the mission field.
Exhausted. Drained. Reclusive. Weary. Kristy Wacek risks revealing the reality that many missionaries face.
I find it curious that I develop a sense of guilt in admitting these things.
The missionaries you know might very well identify with Kristy’s experience—and with the prescription she offers. Spread it around.
The Art of Transition is a weeklong retreat coming up in August (the registration deadline in 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 (Pastoral Training in Member Care) – 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.
Early bird discount pricing for this MK re-entry event ends on May 1, so check out Wilderness Reboot now. Beautiful venue in Alberta, Canada.
Want to learn how to debrief missionaries? The More Network is sponsoring Debriefing 101, a chance for you to be trained in this vital procedure. To be held in Manitoba, Canada. Early bird discounts are still available until April 30.
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.
BUMP IT UP A NOTCH
Think you’re a good listener? Ready for a challenge? Ann White’s essay on the subject will give you pause—and hopefully some good ideas as well for how you can improve your listening skills. Read it if you dare.
Keep up to good work. The ones you serve are certainly grateful for the time and effort you put into caring well.
New on my bookshelf:
- Serving Well, by Elizabeth & Jonathan Trotter
- The Gift of Wonder, by Christine Aroney-Sine
- Working From a Place of Rest, by Tony Horsfall
- Mentoring for Spiritual Growth, by Tony Horsfall
- Tables in the Wilderness, by Preston Yancey
What I’m reading this week:
- This Is Marketing, by Seth Godin
- Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith
- Dying Well, by John Wyatt
- Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
- The Two Towers, by JRR Tolkien
Recently finished reading:
- 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
- Invitation to Retreat, by Ruth Haley Barton
- The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown