Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources
Well, we missed the recent polar vortex by being in southern California when it hit Indiana. Looks like we’ll make up for that today. Wherever you are as you read this, I hope you are comfortable and healthy. Take some time to peruse this newest batch of missionary care resources. I’m sure you’ll find many that you can put to use right away.
“I love missionary life and doing ministry, but I hate the fundraising aspect of it?” Know anyone who feels that way?
We have to change our mindset.
Anderson offers five things every fundraiser should know about raising ministry partners.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
If you know someone who is just starting out to learn a new language, you might want to point them to this article by Jessica Dais. It offers four ways to take language learning to the next level.
Perhaps the most important level of care needed on the mission field is self-care. Alex Hawke, who works in southeast Asia, offers ten resolutions to help missionaries stay healthy. Share this with the global workers you know and love.
Here’s a helpful Facebook group that you may want to tell your missionary friends about. It’s called Tip of the Tongue: Language & Culture Learning Tips. Lots of good links and articles.
Scripture tells us that stewards are required to be faithful; American culture tells us we must be found productive. Our definition of success may be our greatest source of stress and disappointment.
Success is an arbitrary losing battle.
Marilyn Gardner wants to help global workers redefine success. After you read this, you will want that, too. Spread it around.
MK advocate Michele Phoenix has posted a series of YouTube videos on topics of interest to all of you who interact with MKs. As an adult MK herself, Michele knows her stuff—and she’s an excellent presenter as well.
Loving your kids through transition. That’s what Lilly talks about in this piece. Some really sound advice here for those you know who are raising global nomads (otherwise known as MKs and TCKs).
Marriages take a hit on the mission field. While every couple would benefit from periodic marriage retreats, missionary couples don’t often avail themselves during their all-too-short home assignments. Well here’s one that might fit their schedule and their budget. WinShape Marriage is designed for “couples who have served two years of consecutive missionary ministry within the last three years.” The next event is April 22-26 at their beautiful facility in northern Georgia, with others scheduled for May, June, and July.
For those who might be going or sending people to the mission field as marketplace workers, long-term training will not likely be an option. The folks at Upstream Collective are offering a weekend training experience designed just for such a case. March 29-30, in Louisville, KY.
Radiant Life Retreats are small group debriefing and wellness experiences “specifically designed for those who have lived cross-culturally for a year or more.” Hosted by the folks at Excelling Leaders, the next event is scheduled for February 26-March 7 at Twin Pines Manor, Lancaster County, PA. Who might you sponsor to attend this event?
Le Ruche is offering two debriefing events this summer in northern Georgia. (You can also contact them to ask about custom dates.) It is designed for people who have served five or more years on the field.
Abba’s Tree is a new adult debriefing program being offered three times this year. Early registration discounts are available before February 15 for the April 14-19 event. Hosted at the beautiful facilities of The Hideaway Inn in Black Forest, CO by veteran debriefers George and Connie Blake. Every missionary should receive a debriefing like this when they are back in the States. Who might you sponsor for that privilege?
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 this month. If you know anyone who is returning to the U.S. in the near future, 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.
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).
It’s not too soon to begin thinking about the Traction men’s conference coming up in September. Hosted by Catalyst, International, this six-day experience is “designed to encourage global workers who serve in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.”
Don’t be this person. (Or this church.) Caleb Alford relates what it was like to be sent and then forgotten. Read this to know what not to do if you want your sent ones to stay on the field.
Missionary Jonathan Trotter identifies five stages of the missionary life cycle. For each stage, he offers reasonable expectations and goals. If you know these, you can help your friends on the field to establish them as well. (You’ll probably want to forward this to them.)
The MORE Network operates as a Canadian network “committed to proactively providing member care.” Your missions committee might be interested in the workshops, retreats, and other resources that they list on their web site.
The folks at TEAM are offering this free guide to missionary life stages. It is a simple overview of the different stages of a missionary’s career, with space to note ideas for how to care for them in each phase.
Want to learn how to conduct a personal debriefing? Veteran debriefers George and Connie Blake will be hosting a training seminar in December (scroll to the bottom of the page). If you are interested, I suggest you look into this as soon as possible. These tend to be very popular events that fill up quickly, and there are very few opportunities.
BUMP IT UP A NOTCH
Why do we so often contradict ourselves and confound each other? Krista Tippett interviewed Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, to seek an answer to this question. The transcript is worth the time it takes to read. How might this affect the way you interact with the missionaries you seek to care for?
Treating people like people. That’s what missionary care is all about. Sometimes, however, sent ones are treated that strategic pawns, cogs in a ministry machine. That is not at all the way the Father views them. They are not expendable for “the cause.” Here is a thought-provoking piece from the business world. See if you can’t recognize some parallel problems in the world of missions—problems which underscore the need for proper care. By the way, I would love to hear your thoughts on this after you read it.
Enjoy the Lord this weekend. And pass that joy on to those you know who are serving among the nations.
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:
- Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
- Winter, a Spiritual Biography, by Gary Schmidt, ed.
Recently finished reading:
- The Right Story, by Bernadette Jiwa
- Arriving Well, by Cate Brubaker et al
- Sojourner’s Workbook: A Guide to Thriving Cross-culturally, by Connie Befus
- Dragging Baggage: A Guide for Those Struggling on the Mission Field, by Alice Young
- Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan
- The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
- Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith