Casual Friday Christmas Edition

Dec 20, 2019 | Casual Friday

I know everyone is busy this time of year (I certainly am), so I’ll keep it a little shorter this week. Then we’ll take a break until January 10, to give everyone a chance to relax and enjoy relationships. Don’t forget to pray for global workers who will be experiencing Christmas in a foreign context—some of them for the first time. Any note from you will help to make their season bright.



Burnout is not inevitable. That’s what Tony Horsfall writes in this piece for Premier Christianity, and I agree with him. Though written with pastors in mind, read this carefully and prayerfully. What does the Father have to say to you about the role you might play in preventing burnout in the missionaries you know and love?


What is your favorite Christmas carol? This time of year provides an excellent opportunity for global workers to allow God to pour into their souls as they contemplate all that Advent implies. Amy Young uses the song O Come, O Come, Emmanuel as an example of how meaningful lyrics can nurture faith. Enjoy this yourself – then forward it to all the missionaries you know.


Have you ever considered the benefits of writing? You know, like journaling or even penning a book? Chances are, your missionary friends have not given it much thought – but maybe they should. Take a look at this infographic and see if it’s something you should pass along to the global workers you know.


It is not uncommon for a new missionary to make it to the field and, in short order, question why they went. Or question God’s invitation. Or even question their ability to stick it out. At times like that, it is good to ruminate on God’s faithfulness in the past. Kristin Vanderlip expands on that thought in this piece. Spread it around.



Why would anyone want to support me? Many prospective missionaries (and some veterans) find themselves asking this question. Kennex Chi, over at Support Raising Solutions, suggests a different, better question. Know anyone struggling with support raising who might be encouraged by this article?



MKs & TCKs

What is “flow of care,” and who provides it? Donna Kushner knows! The concept is the backbone of the ministry she founded called MK2MK under the umbrella of Cru. In this interview by Abby Alleman, Donna gives an overview of how to care well for MKs.


Missionary kids have to say a lot of goodbyes, as Rachel Pieh Jones attests about her own kids. That why she wrote this post about how to help them say healthy goodbyes. I bet the missionary parents you know would appreciate this.


What is Big-Purpose thinking, and why is it problematic for MKs? Dr. Rachel Cason, a researcher of “all things TCK,” and an adult TCK herself, explains.

I matter, therefore I have purpose.

This is an important topic for any of you who are involved in the life of an MK.



“Are you looking for a time to quiet yourself before the Lord and receive His rest? This is for you.” Safe Place is extending this invitation to attend Ancient Paths Retreat. If you know a missionary close to the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, you might want to give them the gift of retreat in February.


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 three opportunities in 2020. Interlude will be held in January, 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 7th annual SE regional MK retreat, hosted by Compass Ministries, is scheduled for February 14-16. Register or get more information here.


You might want to look into this soon for the m’s you know working in southeast Asia. Field Life will be hosting a Momentum Men’s Conference on Borneo if March of 2020. Looks like a great opportunity for you to bless someone with a soul-refreshing getaway.


A special getaway for a limited number of U.S. and Canadian women who live and work cross-culturally: Thrive retreat in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Now open for registration. Who could you send?


This looks like a phenomenal opportunity to gain an overall education in missionary care. Frontiers will be conducting a five-day conference next April called CareCon, “designed for pastors, church staff, family members, ministry partners, and anyone who wants to support global workers.” I want to go!


Who do you know working in Europe or South America? Who would you like to bless beyond belief with the gift of retreat? The folks at Thrive know how to provide spiritual, motional, and physical care to field workers, and there are two upcoming retreats you should know about: one in Croatia, in February of 2020; and one in Brazil, in April of 2020. You could pay someone’s way. Or—check this out: You could be a volunteer at one of these retreats and bless many people! Get the details here.


Thank you for making yourself available for God to use as an expression of his care for sent ones. May you revel in the marvel of the incarnation, and may the concept of Immanuel capture your imagination as well as your heart. Merry Christmas everyone!


New on my bookshelf:

  • The Mind of a Missionary: What Global Kingdom Workers Tell Us About Thriving on Mission Today, by David Joannes
  • The God Who Gives: How the Trinity Shapes the Christian Story, by Kelly Kapic
  • Homeward Bound: A spouse’s guide to repatriation, by Robin Pascoe


What I’m reading this week:

  • Mansions of the Heart: Exploring the seven stages of spiritual growth, by R. Thomas Ashbrook
  • Serving Well, by Elizabeth & Jonathan Trotter
  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith


Recently finished reading:

  • Autumn: A spiritual biography of the season, Gay Schmidt, ed.
  • Souvenirs and Solitude, by Brennan Manning
  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel


Up next:

  • Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller