Casual Friday From Central Asia

Apr 7, 2017 | Casual Friday, Fundraising, Missionary Care, Thriving, Transition

I am writing this week from central Asia, in a place that seems to be the international headquarters for the Amalgamated Exhaustion Corporation. I felt this on my last visit back in November, and I feel it again: I’ve never been in the midst of so much worn-outness (feel free to use that term). Is it any wonder that many of this week’s resources are related to rest?


Trust God enough to take a day off. That’s Rachel Kahindi’s advice, and I think it’s spot on. Don’t wait until your friends are burned out; forward this to them now.

Sarita Hartz puts forth the spiritual and scientific reasons for taking a break. She knows from experience what happens when you don’t. Don’t let your missionary friends become workaholics.

Extreme busyness is not a badge of honor—it’s code red.

Madonna Maurer urges us to admit our need for rest. Will your friends on the field fess up?

Joy Smalley uses the analogy of physical training to point out the strategic value of rest.

Strength isn’t gained as we work. Strength is gained as we rest.

Be a good coach for your missionary friends and remind them of this truth.

Here is some really good advice for avoiding burnout, from Elizabeth Trotter. Field tested and found effective.

Unhealthy hustle. That’s the way Emily Freeman describes what drives one to cross the line toward burnout. Your global worker needs to know these three warning signs.

The end of self-care? Patty Stallings explains why she traded self-care for something better. This is definitely worth sharing.


Believe it or not, many missionaries are actually introverts. That means they often have more trouble raising support than their extroverted counterparts.  Lisa Freyenberger tells how they can beat the odds.


Jenilee Goodwin has some helpful hints for preparing kids for furlough. This would be a good time to send this to the families you know preparing for home assignment.

This author talks honestly about her struggles with returning from the field. This might be as helpful for you in understanding returnees as it could be for your missionary friends.

Repatriating—returning to one’s passport country—can be just as unsettling as crossing cultural barriers for the first time. Laura Bowling tells how she dealt with the chaos.

Sarita Hartz provides life coaching and pastoral counseling for people transitioning back off the field. You might want to recommend her to someone you know who is coming back.

Debriefing should be part of every returning missionary’s plans. Recalibrate! is one event to consider. We have room for 20 adults for the October session; early registration is advised.


Clarity cannot be rushed. That good insight from Emily Freeman may come in handy when you are helping a returning missionary navigate their foggy transition.

Personal conflict is still one of the major reasons missionaries leave the field. You can receive online training in SYIS for how to minimize that potential.

Concilium is a multi-faceted Christian organization that helps expatriates live and work securely in foreign environments. Senders need to prepare before a crisis arises, and these folks will help you do that.

Missio Nexus has begun producing podcasts about trends affecting global missions. If you are interested in staying abreast of current developments, sign up for these free bi-monthly resources.


Reboot 2017, a re-entry program for MKs, is accepting registrations for the July 22-29 event in Ontario, Canada.

They also have an event scheduled for August 4-12 in Alberta, Canada.

And here’s a unique opportunity for “MKs seeking a deep encounter with God amidst the beauty of the Canadian back country wilderness.”

Debriefing should be part of every returning missionary’s plans. Recalibrate! is one event to consider. We have room for 20 adults for the October session; early registration is advised.

That’s it from this side of the world. Take care of yourselves…so you can take care of others.

What I’m reading this week (thankful for Kindle):

  • Psalm 116, by Kyle Burkholder
  • Songs From the Heart: Meeting with God in the Psalms, by Tim Riordan

Just finished:

  • Winston S. Churchill: Youth, 1874-1900, by Randolph S. Churchill
  • Running on Empty, by Fil Anderson
  • Life of the Beloved, by Henri Nouwen
  • You Are What You Love, by James Smith

Up next:

  • Breaking the Rules, by Fil Anderson
  • Th!nk, by Michael LeGault