Casual Friday Double Dose

May 4, 2018 | Blog, Casual Friday

I am packing this week’s page with as much as I can find because next there will be no Casual Friday. We will be in Florida visiting our daughter and some dear friends. One couple is in their 90s, and we are painfully aware that this may be our last time to see them on this side of glory. Cherish the relationships you have with sent ones. And translate your care and concern into action by utilizing resources like these.



It is possible to grieve the loss of something you’ve never actually had. Aylin Merck knows. And she knows what to do with the various dreams she took with her overseas but had to relinquish. Every sent-one deals with this, so pass this along to all the sent ones you know.


Dr. Scott Rodin offers an idea that should prove quite helpful for anyone dealing with an overly-full schedule.

Meaningful time with God can be found in the Sabbath moments that punctuate our day.

That applies as much to you and me as it does to the sent-ones we support. So let’s spread this one around, shall we?


Many sent-ones give up and come back because of unmet expectations. Jessica Hoover has learned a helpful perspective that just might help someone you know to hang in there.

Without failure, disillusionment and struggle these dreams might never had started.

Who do you have in mind to share this with?


Believe it or not, it is not uncommon for missionaries to think of their host country as God-forsaken, especially during their initial adjustment period. One aspect of that particularly affects those of us whose culture has taught us to rely on ourselves to get through rough patches. This article by Jeff Morton is an admonition to change such thinking.


Sustainable rhythms are vital on the mission field, and a key component of resiliency. Margin, which so often seems in short supply, must be wrested from busy agendas and hectic schedules. Emily Jackson offers 11 practical ways to do just that, and your missionary friends are sure to appreciate at least some of them.


Amy Young is leading a discussion over at Velvet Ashes on the topic of dreams. May be something the women you know would be interested in.



A while back I had the chance to debrief a group of young people who were held at gunpoint on the mission field. It happens. That’s why Anna Hampton offers this advice about what to do if it ever happens to you. Don’t assume that your missionary friends will never need to know this. Pass it along.



What is it like for someone who grew up overseas to return to their passport country? Nicole Baldonado knows, and she shares what she knows in this post. Read this to add to your understanding of how to care well for MKs/TCKs.



There are a couple annual gatherings of care providers that you may want to consider attending. They are great opportunities to build upon your skill set and develop a network of like-minded people for the enhancement of your ministry to missionaries. The CareGivers Forum is one event. It will be held October 21-24 at the Green Lake Conference Center in Wisconsin. The other event is PTM: Pastoral Training in MemberCare, to be held at the Ridgecrest Conference Center in Asheville, NC October 2-5.


MKs 21-35 are invited to a back country “encounter with God” in beautiful Alberta, Canada. Wilderness ReBoot is taking registrations for this July 2-7 event. Looking for something a little more tame? Check out the ReBoot 2018 event to be held August 4-11, also in Alberta.


“Will you or any global women you know be Stateside this summer? Would a few days of worship, prayer, Biblical teaching, pampering, rest, and fellowship with other women in an idyllic mountain setting be a blessing to your life?” Then you should know about the 2018 Colorado Retreat to be hosted by Thrive July 10-13. Space is limited, so register soon.


The folks at Interaction International are offering a transition seminar for TCKs returning to the U.S. It will be held in Colorado Springs, CO from July 21 through July 27.


Here’s an intensive debriefing opportunity from the folks at Sanctuary Inn, June 21-23. The venue is a beautiful lodge at the foot of Mt Hood, Oregon. Please note that this event will not be able to accommodate children.


Barnabas International will be hosting Interlude, a debriefing retreat, July 24-27 in Indianapolis, IN. A chance to share your story and reflect on God’s work in your life. More information and registration are here.


Sometimes the best encouragement is simply found in being together. Thrive retreats provide counseling, massage therapy, small group interaction, worship and prayer time, beauty care, and speaker sessions for women in cross-cultural ministry—all for $125! There is one coming up in Colorado in July, and one in the Philippines in October. Who would you like to send?


Elim retreats, a ministry of Barnabas, International, are held twice a year. “It is our heart to provide spiritual care to each missionary or global worker that participates in order to promote a time of rest, renewal, and restoration.” The next one is scheduled for June 10-15 in Wisconsin.



Listening well is a skill we all should hone. But listening to someone who is grieving requires advanced skills. Celeste Headlee offers a fairly easy way to become more empathetic and connect more effectively to the sent-ones you encounter who are dealing with loss.


Missionary Elizabeth Trotter, whose posts I have linked to frequently, has just published a book that complies her experiences as a woman, wife, mother, home-schooler, and sent one. You will gain useful insights from it. It would also be a great gift for some female global worker you know.


The always humorous Jerry Jones has done it again! Here is his list of 10 sure-fire ways to drive your missionary friends crazy when they are back to visit. Which of these have you done? On the flip side, Jerry also offers helpful alternatives for each item. You’ll want to take notes.



It is no secret that the millennial generation is lonely, by their own admission. Many of the sent ones that you support are or will be millennials. The kind of support they need is based in deep friendship—the kind that is increasingly hard to find. You have the incredible opportunity to provide what they need. Read this article by Caroline Beaton and be challenged. You might also want to read her followup article, linked at the bottom of this one.


As always, thank you for allowing God to use you in the lives of his sent-ones around the world. See you in a couple of weeks.


What I’m reading this week:

  • The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, George Long trans.
  • Scripture and Cosmology, by Dr. Kyle Greenwood
  • How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth, by Gordon Fee
  • Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero
  • Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert

Just finished reading:

  • Building a Culture of Innovation, by Cris Beswick et al
  • The Golden Sayings of Epictetus, Hastings Crossley trans.
  • Spring: A Spiritual Biography of the Season, Gary Schmidt, ed.
  • The Sin of Certainty, by Peter Enns
  • Your Best Year Ever, by Michael Hyatt

Up next:

  • Scripture and Cosmology, by Kyle Greenwood
  • The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns