Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources

Jun 14, 2019 | Blog, Casual Friday

Summer can be a very busy season. Vacations, sporting events, special times with the kids or grandkids. I appreciate you taking the time to check in and avail yourself of these missionary care resources. Please take special note of the article under Fundraising. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

 

EQUIP YOURSELF

There is an unhealthy tendency in the way we often relate to missionaries. Anna Price identifies it in this penetrating post. In what ways do your relationships with sent ones resemble what she reveals? How would changing your perspective affect your ability to care well for the missionaries in your life?

 

Good-byes are a part of missionary life. Too much a part, at times. Want to know how painful they can be? Read Joy Smalley’s post. Then incorporate what the Spirit does in your heart in your next round of prayers for the missionaries you know.

 

LIFE ON THE FIELD

How is awe related to spiritual well-being? Christine Sine thinks it is essential…but busyness gets in the way. Busyness is the bane of many of us, missionaries in particular.

Rediscovering child-like wonder is essential for our spiritual health.

How might you encourage and facilitate a regular sense of awe in the souls of global workers that you love?

 

How is moss like life on the mission field? Well, read Annie Rim’s post and see what you think. Global workers go out with the hope and expectation of an eventual harvest. But a lot can happen while waiting for the reaping.

 

Humans are holistic beings—body, soul, and spirit are intertwined with each other in a way that, what affects one aspects, affects the others.

Our bodies matter to God, and they should matter to us.

Paying attention to what our bodies are telling us is an important part of healthy spirituality. Unfortunately, many missionaries neglect or even abuse their bodies for the sake of their cause. If you know someone like that, you might want to have them read this piece by Dr. Charles Stone.

 

Life on the mission field can be hard. Really hard. Like, hard enough to kill you in more ways than one. Many offer advice on how to cope with the hardship (usually by people who have never had to face what global workers face). Missionary Anisha Hopkinson offers a wise perspective from the trenches. All your missionary friends need to see this.

 

Missionaries tend to be deeply committed people, willing to lay down their lives for the sake of the Gospel. But often God challenges them with tasks far beyond their capacity.

Optimism and determination are a poor substitute for dependency.

Missionary C. Anderson identifies three problems when missionaries tackle their jobs with human strength. How might you help your missionary friends avoid doing that?

 

Unmet expectations are a leading cause for missionary attrition. This missionary reflects on the lies she told herself before going to the field. How would you dispel such mistaken notions in a missionary wannabe?

 

FUNDRAISING

And now for something entirely different. Missionaries who live off of the donations of generous supports (aka financial partners) are frequently told that they need to stay in touch with their base. But how often does anyone ask the donors what they’d like to hear? Or how often? Shane Bennett, from Missions Catalyst, has put out a survey on the subject. Would you be so kind as to weigh in? As one who is lives on support, I am quite curious to see the results. Thank you, in advance, for taking a few minutes to do this.

 

TRANSITION

What happens when transition doesn’t include a sure destination? Every time some global workers leave their host country, they face the uncertainty of whether they’ll be allowed to return. Beth Barthelemy shares about her experience with such uncertainty. Know anyone who is in a similar position?

 

Sometimes transition means staying put. The mission field is often a revolving door, with people arriving and leaving in a constant stream. Good-byes become a routine, though un-relished, part of life.

He is in the midst of their leaving, and He is in the midst of us staying.

Katelyn Comer talks about how to cope with the pain of watching people leave in this post.

 

Leaving the mission field can be harder than going in the first place. There is a grief attached to the loss of ministry, which Bernie Anderson describes so well in this piece.

It’s OK to not be OK.

Bernie goes on to offer four ways a returning missionary should give themselves grace during re-entry. How could you help facilitate that process for someone you know?

 

MKs/TCKs

What on earth does a rainy day have to do with self-care? Adult TCK Rachel Cason has some interesting ideas.

Can a rainy day invite us to explore the parameters of our own ‘in here’?

Do you know some older MKs or TCKs that would benefit from reading this?

 

Why is it important for MKs name their losses? How do they uncover the losses they’re not even aware of? What happens if they don’t? Dr. Rachel Cason again—this time with sound advice for facing the pain that MKs and TCKs frequently face.

 

What is it like to be raised by missionaries? That’s the question Brianna Langley asked several MKs. There answers may surprise you; they certainly will inform your prayer life.

People will treat you differently than other kids once they find out your parents are missionaries.

After reading this, how might your interaction with MKs be different?

 

EVENTS

Resilience is the buzz word these days in missionary care. How can missionaries develop sustainable lifestyles and ministry habits? The folks at CIT (Center for Intercultural Training) are offering a 2-week online course that your missionary friends can take later this summer (August 28-September 11).

 

CIT has put together a one-week online course on culture shock that may be useful for someone you know. “Survival is not the goal; rather, the goal is to allow God to grow you in a way that prepares you to understand and love others around.”

 

CIT also has an upcoming online course on marriage that is geared toward long-term field workers. Sounds like it would be particularly helpful for those who are experiencing new challenges in their marriage since arriving on the mission field.

 

It’s not too early to begin making plans to attend PTM (Pastoral Training in Membercare) – the one event we personally are determined to make every year. Join a few hundred member care people ranging from multi-year veterans to newbies. One of the best and most practical events of its kind.

 

Marriage counseling is not just for couples who are experiencing problems. Any marriage can be enriched and revitalized through a good marriage retreat, like the one offered by Alongside. Coming up September 30-October 4. Who could you bless with the gift of this event?

 

Are you working with someone in the early stages of determining their calling? The Journey Deepens offers a weekend retreat designed to help people discern their next step. You might want to consider attending along with the person you are mentoring. Coming up in September, in Indianapolis.

 

Interaction International will be hosting a transition seminar for MKs/TCKs who will be re-entering the U.S. this summer. July 20-26 in Colorado Springs. You should consider sponsoring someone for this event. Research has shown that re-entry events are the most helpful resource available to young people transitioning back into their passport culture.

 

GO DEEPER

OK, so admittedly this article is about business entrepreneurs. But there are a lot of parallels between them and global workers. Too many, sometimes.

You can get into a startup mode, where you push yourself and abuse your body.

Don’t think for a minute that missionaries are immune to these problems. That’s why your partnership is so important. You are a vital part of keeping them out of the ditches.

 

Thank you for caring. Thank you for making yourself available to be used by God in the lives of those who are representing him in myriad contexts around the world.

 

New on my bookshelf:

  • Love Well: Living Life Unrehearsed and Unstuck, by Jamie George
  • Innovation in Mission, by Jim Reapsome and Jon Hirst
  • Serving Well, by Elizabeth & Jonathan Trotter

 

What I’m reading this week:

  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith
  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
  • Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (updated), by Peter Scazzero
  • The Return of the King, by JRR Tolkien

 

Recently finished reading:

  • Beloved Dust, by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel
  • Invitation to Retreat, by Ruth Haley Barton
  • Spring, A Spiritual Biography of the Season, Gary Schmidt ed
  • Secrets of Dynamic Communication, by Ken Davis
  • A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live, by Emily Freeman

 

Up next:

  • The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown

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