Casual Friday Missionary Care

Apr 3, 2020 | Blog, Casual Friday

Seems like the only thing that comes close to keeping up with COVID-19-related news is the mass of articles, podcasts, webinars, and other suggestions about how to deal with it. (My inbox is blowing up. Yours?) I have tried to restrict my selections here to those that have specific application to missionaries and missionary care, though many of these you may find to be useful for yourself as well.  


Shepherd Care

(How the Great Shepherd cares for his own)

Your ability to get through all of the upheaval is not a matter of your ability after all. Maria Mullet reminds us of how the Father himself will take us through difficult circumstances. You probably know a missionary who would appreciate this post.


Self Care

(Good spiritual hygiene for global workers)

That discomfort you’re feeling is grief. At least, that’s what David Kessler says in this article. Grief is associated with loss, and much has been lost since the onset of this pandemic.

There’s something powerful about naming this grief.

This may help you know what you are experiencing and why…and how to deal with it.


Joy is a powerful tool for combating fear and discouragement. But how does one find joy in these current circumstances? Christian author and psychologist Curt Thompson shares some excellent ways in this podcast with Margaret Feinberg.


This pandemic has been disruptive for many, many missionaries. Transition specialist Amy Young has some helpful advice on how to handle abrupt transitions. Maybe you know a missionary who had to return to the States that could use this advice.


Free PDF: 30 days of journal prompts for processing the pandemic and its ramifications. Thank you Velvet Ashes.


Sender Care

(Resources to help sending churches care for their sent ones)

Most of what we are just beginning to learn about how to cope with the scenario created by COVID-19 is stuff that your average cross-cultural worker has already learned to deal with. Craig Thompson encourages us to ask them what they’ve learned. That will give us all kinds of insight into how to pray, how to care for them, and how to deal with our own circumstances.


What is a moral injury? And how does it relate to all the craziness in our world right now? Crisis Response Chaplain, Stacey Conard, does a superb job of answering both questions in this 20 minute video. This information will serve you well beyond the end of this pandemic.


How do missionaries feel when they are required to leave the field? When the government suggests they return to their passport country of risk being “stuck” where they are, how do they decide what to do?

You can best love your sent ones by seeking to understand their unique experience of HOME.

Cross-cultural and member care specialist Sandy can help you understand. How does her input affect the way you will be praying?


The folks at 16:15 just hosted an excellent webinar on innovative ways to care for missionaries during the pandemic. On April 16 they will air Part 2. (Part 1 is archived on their website.) You will want to listen to both.


Here’s a prayer app that would be useful any time you lift up sent ones, but particularly now. It focuses on the schemes of the enemy for taking people out.


Desperate times call for…what? Desperate measures may not be the best answer. We are more aware and more concerned, perhaps, about the well-being of our sent ones. How do we care for them? Simply reacting is probably not a good choice. Ruth Haley Barton offers a much better alternative in this podcast.


How do you care well for your sent ones during COVID-19? This very informative webinar from the Upstream Collective is still available to watch as a recording. I highly recommend it.


Professional Care

(Professional level help)

For obvious reasons, all events at Baan Sabai Lodge (Recalibrate! debriefings, debriefing training, guest hosting) are on hold until further notice.


Much has been written about TCKs, but not so much about raising them. The folks at TCK Training are changing that. They have workshops, training events, a blog, and downloadable resources, among other resources. There is much available here that would benefit you in your interaction with TCKs, and you should tell every missionary parent about this as well.


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 two more opportunities in 2020: Interlude will be held in 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.


It’s time to start thinking about re-entry programs for MKs—like Reboot. (Check out their introductory video.) They are still planning to host their programs this summer, Lord wiling. Who could you sponsor?


The folks at Thrive Ministry will be hosting some retreats this year, but others have had to be cancelled. Check their web site regularly to stay up-to-date.


Book Recommendations

(Useful titles to have on your m’care bookshelf)

Here’s a book that is very timely: Recovering from Traumatic Stress: A Guide for Missionaries. Stephanie Lanham and Joyce Pelletier will teach you how to recognize the symptoms experienced after a traumatic incident (like watching people die from the corona virus), and how you can facilitate healing.


As always, thank you for caring enough to stop by and for allowing God to use you in the lives of harvest workers all over the world.