Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources

Jan 17, 2020 | Blog, Casual Friday

Already behind on your New Year’s goals? Yeah…me too. These first two weeks have evaporated! Meanwhile, there are global workers out there who need our encouragement. Here are some resources to help you provide effective care.

 

SELF-CARE

One invaluable service you can offer your friends on the mission field is to encourage them to look after their soul’s health. A useful practice is to take stock of what God has been up to in the past year, and think about what he might like to do in this new year. There are multiple versions of this concept available online, but since Sara Simons is a global worker herself, I thought this might resonate with the missionaries you know.

 

EQUIP YOURSELF

What’s the hardest thing about living on the mission field? It may not be what you think. Anna Glenn shares her answer to that question. It will give you plenty to pray about when you think of the missionaries that you support.

 

What’s the harshest part of serving overseas? Anisha Hopkinson offers five sobering realities. If this doesn’t jumpstart your prayer, nothing will.

 

White expat privilege. It’s a hot topic, but Jerry Jones is not afraid to address it.

If you are living internationally you are navigating the unseen prejudice of your host.

His article will help you understand what your missionary friends must live with. And you might want to forward it to those friends; there are a lot of helpful ideas about how to deal with the reality of that privilege.

 

Know any wannbe, newbie, or weary cross-cultural workers? You might want to give them a copy of this book. Written by missionaries Jonathan and Elizabeth Trotter, it is reviewed here by Bryon Mondok for Shepherd’s Staff. Having read it myself, I can vouch for its ability to encourage anyone in the above categories.

 

TRANSITION

Is there such a thing as being addicted to change? And if there is, is it a bad thing? Expert on all things transitional, Jerry Jones, says yes and no.

Change in inevitable. You might as well love it.

Since transition is part of normal missionary life, your missionary friends would probably appreciate this post.

 

Borrowed lives. That’s how Marilyn Gardner describes expatriate living. This is a very moving article. I won’t say any more, so that it may move you, too.

 

MKs/TCKs

Authentic unrest. That’s how this TCK describes her experience as a multi-cultural person trying to navigate.

The world is overflowing with other people’s homes while ours are trapped in memories. 

Very well-written, this article will give you lots in insight into the world of third culture kids (grown or otherwise).

 

On a similar note, C. Anderson writes about the sense of rootlessness that most (if not all) MKs experience.

This never quite fulfilled longing for home is a type of missionary loneliness. It is a tough cross to bear.

She goes on to suggest how “home” might become a reality, an anchor for the soul. Read this if you want to come alongside MKs in a helpful way.

 

Here is a resource that your friends who are parents on the mission field will appreciate. Lauren Wells has teamed up with Global Trellis to produce a regular feature on MKs/TCKs. In this installment, she offers some advice on how to nurture MKs.

 

OPPORTUNITIES

Looking for a place to send someone for debriefing? Paracletos will be hosting 5-day debriefing event February 23-29. Still room for 4 additional people. Email me for details (dave@paracletos.org) or ask in the comments section below.

 

Want to be trained in debriefing? Paracletos is offering 4 opportunities this year (March, June, August, and November). Openings for 6 individuals for each of these 5-day trainings. Email me for details (dave@paracletos.org) or ask in the comments section below.

 

Who do you know that could use some R&R? Paracletos offers top-notch hosting at Baan Sabai Lodge. Check the lodge website for available dates.

 

“Are you looking for a time to quiet yourself before the Lord and receive His rest? This is for you.” Safe Place is extending this invitation to attend Ancient Paths Retreat. If you know a missionary close to the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, you might want to give them the gift of retreat in February.

 

It’s not too early to start thinking about re-entry programs for MKs—like Reboot. They have limited space for their program next summer, so early registration is encouraged. Who could you sponsor?

 

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.

 

You might want to look into this soon for the m’s you know working in southeast Asia. Field Life will be hosting a Momentum Men’s Conference on Borneo if March of 2020. (This is the opportunity mentioned in the post by Sean Li above.) Looks like a great opportunity for you to bless someone with a soul-refreshing getaway.

 

The folks at Thrive Ministry will be hosting 4 retreats this year: Colorado (USA), Croatia, Brazil, and South Africa. Did you know that you can volunteer to help staff those retreats? And did you know that you can sponsor someone to attend? Learn more here.

 

This looks like a phenomenal opportunity to gain an overall education in missionary care. Frontiers will be conducting a five-day conference next April called CareCon, “designed for pastors, church staff, family members, ministry partners, and anyone who wants to support global workers.” I am now registered. Will I see you there?

 

Here is another debriefing retreat for you to consider. Excelling Leaders will be hosting their next event February 25 – March 5 in Tampa, Florida. Check here for details.

 

Hopefully I will get a chance to introduce a fresh look to Casual Friday. Meanwhile, thank you for allowing God to use you in the lives of his sent ones.  

 

New on my bookshelf:

  • Inexpressible: Hesed and the Mystery of God’s Lovingkindness, by Michael Care
  • Tending Soul, Mind, and Body: The Art and Science of Spiritual Formation, Hiestand & Wilson, ed.
  • The Mind of a Missionary: What Global Kingdom Workers Tell Us About Thriving on Mission Today, by David Joannes
  • The God Who Gives: How the Trinity Shapes the Christian Story, by Kelly Kapic
  • Homeward Bound: A spouse’s guide to repatriation, by Robin Pascoe

 

What I’m reading this week:

  • Mansions of the Heart: Exploring the seven stages of spiritual growth, by R. Thomas Ashbrook
  • Serving Well, by Elizabeth & Jonathan Trotter
  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith

 

Recently finished reading:

  • Autumn: A spiritual biography of the season, Gary Schmidt, ed.
  • Souvenirs and Solitude, by Brennan Manning
  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel

 

Up next:

  • Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller
  • Winter: A spiritual biography of the season, Gary Schmidt, ed.

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