Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources
I can’t believe myself. Here we are, not even two weeks into January, and I already feel like the year is slipping away from me. Every feel that way? When we are on the mission field, we often felt like there was never enough time to accomplish all the urgent things that needed doing. I’d be willing to bet that some of your friends struggle with that. All the more reason they need you to come alongside them for encouragement, and to help them keep things in perspective. Here are some resources to help you do that.
Here’s an upcoming podcast for those who feel called to missions but need help to keep that spark alive. Join sixteen:fifteen on February 6 to hear how you can be a part.
And here’s an entire issue of Catalyst Services’ Postings devoted to helping students who have been to Urbana follow through on their commitments and curiosity. (Hint: They will need a mentor to walk with them through the decision-making process. That could be you.)
RISK ASSESSMENT & MANAGEMENT
The folks at WorldAware have just put out their global forecast for 2019 regarding safety and security issues. If you partner with anyone working in a sensitive part of the world, you will probably want a copy of this.
Joy Smalley talks about PTSD—it’s prevalence on the field, it’s long-term effects, and how to heal from it. Her post will help you understand and pray more effectively. It may also be something you should forward to some missionary you know who is struggling with this all-too-common malady.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
Self-awareness is a critical skill for missionaries, says Christina Baird. It can be learned like any other skill.
We must create the habit of reviewing our selves and our work regularly.
She suggests reflective journaling as a means of developing such a skill in this article in the latest Missions Interlink bulletin.
Tailored Fundraising Solutions wants to help missionaries raise and maintain the support they need.
What’s the most effective way to engage in monthly support fundraising and financial partnership?
Don’t assume that this is entirely the responsibility of your missionary friend. You can play a vital part in this process.
Dead ends. Most of us probably don’t think about how terrifying that phrase can be for children who’ve first encountered it. But as Karen Huber explains, dead ends are usually an opportunity to discover a new path. If you know someone who’s transition feels like a dead end, maybe you can forward this article to them.
Are you the parent of a missionary, or know one? Missions Resource Network will be hosting a retreat just for you in Bedford, Texas, January 18-19. You’ll have to hurry to register while there’s still room.
The 6th Asia Member Care Network Conference will be held April 29-May 3 in Penang, Malaysia, and registration is now open. The theme this year is Member Care in an Age of Accelerated Change. A great opportunity in a beautiful location. Who could you take with you?
The ReBoot MK re-entry programs for 2019 are now open for registration. These are for Canadians and are hosted in Canada. Know anyone who might be interested?
Barnabas Zentrum has posted their schedule of debriefing opportunities for 2019, beginning in February. If you know anyone who is returning to the U.S. between now and then, you might want to direct them to this site. Early registration is advised. Maybe you could cover the cost for someone? While you’re visiting their site, check out the other services they offer to cross-cultural workers.
Believe it or not, it’s already time to register for the annual Midwest Conference on Missionary Care. Held in Minneapolis, on February 15-16, this year’s theme will be “Living in the Tension Between Rest and Risk.” This is a great opportunity for networking with other church members who are involved in missionary care.
The folks at Thrive have opened registration for their July, 2019 women’s retreat in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Who could you host for the exceptional deal? Want to volunteer to help at the retreat? There’s opportunity for that, too (scroll down a bit on the page).
What’s the best way to discourage your missionary friend? Vaneetha Rendall Risner has a pretty good of idea of what not to do when you come alongside someone who is suffering in any way. While you’re over there, you might want to get a copy of her book, The Scars That Have Shaped Me: How God meets us in suffering.
Here’s a little something just for fun, from the folks at The Mission Blog: 10 gifs that sum up a global worker’s life. Ain’t it the truth!
Jerry Jones is back – with another humorous but incredibly practical post about what your missionary friends would probably like to tell you, but don’t get the chance. How well do you really know their living conditions, their perspectives, their desires?
The folks at Shepherd’s Staff have posted a lot of content in the past year related to missions and missionary care. Here is their list of most-read blogs in 2018.
Know anyone who would like to be debriefed? How about a missionary who would benefit from counseling from someone who understands life on the field? Or maybe you would like to be trained in missionary care yourself. The folks at Heartstream Resources have many programs and other resources that you should be aware of. Do yourself a favor and take a look at their site.
BUMP IT UP A NOTCH
There’s little disagreement about the fact that we are a distracted people. All of us, missionaries and missionary advocates alike, lean toward addictions that technology is only too happy to facilitate. Alan Jacobs has some penetrating insights as to what’s really going on in our souls when we find ourselves pursuing the endless streams of disruption (what on person has called “continuous partial attention”). A longer read, but very worthwhile. How might this affect your care for global workers?
Many people—senders and sent-ones alike—engage in reflection this time of year. What went well in 2018? Where did we drop the ball? What could be done better in 2019? What would have been helpful if I had a better understanding at the time? What do I need to learn to be more effective? I encourage you to apply some of those questions to your partnership with missionaries.
New on my bookshelf:
- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink
- The Lost World of Genesis One, by John Walton
- True You: Letting go of your false self to uncover the person God created, by Michelle DeRusha
- Take Care of Yourself: Survive and thrive in Christian ministry, by Pablo Martinez
- The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization, by Peter Senge
What I’m reading this week:
- Sojourner’s Workbook: A Guide to Thriving Cross-culturally, by Connie Befus
- Winter, a Spiritual Biography, by Gary Schmidt, ed.
Recently finished reading:
- Dragging Baggage: A Guide for Those Struggling on the Mission Field, by Alice Young
- Making Space for Millennials: A Blueprint for your Culture, Ministry, Leadership and Facilities, by Barna
- Inspired: Slaying giants, walking on water, and loving the Bible again, by Rachel Evans
- The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
- Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
- Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan
- Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith