I’m writing this week from Washington, DC. Visiting the various memorials and monuments has been a sobering reminder of the price associated with freedom. And of course that reminds me of the price many have paid—and are paying every day—to share the message of spiritual freedom. Your role in caring for the message bearers is precious beyond words.

 

LIFE ON THE FIELD

Some of the people you care for are or will be in a place of leadership. Sarita Hartz offers some hard-won advice on how to develop a team culture that will help every member thrive.

 

Believe it or not, not all missionaries are extroverts. Many require some alone time in order to recharge—but it can be hard to come by on the field. Your introvert missionary friends will appreciate this piece by Courtney Carver.

 

Sarita Hartz knows that sometimes survival is all we one can manage. Those are the times she reminds herself that “my weakness isn’t bad, it’s an invitation for an encounter.” Most anyone you know on the field will appreciate the insights she shares in this post.

 

Those who are feeling like they live in a dry and thirsty land, whose souls are parched, may enjoy these thoughts from Karen Huber.

 

Carol McNaughton has written this beautiful post about how God reminds us of his presence. Who do you know that would love to read it?

 

TRANSITION

Jerry Jones has penned yet another humorous description of home assignment. Sure to bring a knowing grin to all of your missionary friends.

 

Returning to one’s passport country can be as much if not more of a challenge than moving overseas in the first place. Marilyn Gardner’s article will help you understand why.

Resist the urge to return too quickly.

It also would be useful to any of your friends who may be returning soon.

 

Sometimes, after all the adjustments one has gone through to be able to sleep in a new country, the lack of those same noises can make it hard to sleep in a quiet environment. Craig Thompson offers a solution in this piece.

 

Here is a resource for any of you coming alongside people who are wrestling with re-entry. Tell them about the Expat Everyday Support Center. Check it out for yourself, too, so you know what they offer.

 

Transition: Can’t go over it. Can’t go under it. Can’t go around it. What does that leave? Emily Jackson knows, and she says so in this clever piece.

 

EQUIP YOURSELF

Check out this new ministry: “Missional Living exists to glorify God through the support and care of Christian missionaries by providing transitional housing, transportation, coaching and training in the United States and abroad.”

 

Hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12)…but desire fulfilled is a tree of life. How well do you know your missionary friend? Well enough to know the desires of their heart? Well enough to know when their heart is sick? You (and they) might benefit from this post by Natalie Sum.

 

Some of you may be called upon to debrief someone who’s been involved in aid ministry. Here is a comprehensive guide that you can download. Even if you don’t deal directly with aid workers, there are plenty of good principles and ideas in this.

 

Singles have unique needs on the mission field. Ron Koteskey has written extensively on the subject. His recently-updated material offers a great overview. Down a free copy now.

 

This…this is the kind of friend every missionary needs. Robin Dance nails it. This is the kind of friend you need to be.

 

Be like Aunt Charlotte. Her simple act made a huge difference in the life of missionary author Marilyn Gardner. You could learn from her example.

 

MKs/TCKs

Chris Aslan will give you a good idea of what many TCKs feel when they repatriate.

 

EVENTS

Train International is offering a free webinar entitled “Taking Your Missions Team to the Next Level” to the first 100 people to sign up. In conjunction with Waypoint Church Partners they will be discussing missionary care.

 

Train International also offers debriefing. Their next event will be held October 15-20. You can get more details here.

 

LeRucher debriefing events “serve to help cross cultural field workers ‘unpack’ their time in service.” The next scheduled dates are August 6-11 and October 29-November 3, both to be held in Clarkesville, Georgia, USA.

 

The most effective time for debriefing is typically 2-3 months after missionaries return from the field. That makes this event on September 4-18 ideal for those who will return this summer. Hosted by Heartstream, this is a two-week intensive care program which includes debriefing, 10 sessions of counseling, daily worship, and classes on various topics relevant to cross-cultural work.

 

“When a person tells his story and is truly heart and understood, he undergoes actual changes in his brain circuitry…” (Curt Thompson, M.D.) Debriefing is the chance for field workers to tell their story in a way that benefits them. Recalibrate! is an excellent opportunity for that. Registration for the October event in now open.

 

If you’ve found these Casual Friday resources useful, please share them with others you know who want to be better equipped to care for missionaries. Thanks!

 

What I’m reading this week:

  • Th!nk, by Michael LeGault
  • Winston S. Churchill: Youth, 1874-1900, by Randolph S. Churchill
  • Consider Your Calling, by Gordon Smith

 

Just finished reading:

  • Summer: A Spiritual Biography of the Season, Schmidt & Felch, eds.
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni
  • How Is Your Soul?, by Judah Smith
  • The Blue Parakeet, by Scot McKnight

 

Up next:

  • Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero
  • Living Far Away, by Esther Abbott
  • Moving Far Away, by Esther Abbott

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