Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources
We’ve had a couple of exceptionally warm days this week. Not complaining, except the warmth draws out the bugs. Thousands of bugs. Flies are the main scourge this year, and false ladybugs. They remind me of the pesky problems that accompany life on the mission field. They may be dormant for a while, but most of them never disappear. You can help your friends on the field deal with those issues with resources like these.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
We Americans (in particular) have a hard time with paradox. We like things to be resolved, to land on one side of the equation or the other. Missionary life rarely provides for that. Sometimes, however, the other shoe falls and discord is the result. Is that bad? You won’t think so after reading Karen Huber’s post.
The issues with which missionaries must contend are often the same issues that leaders face. Stephen Smith, over at Potter’s Inn, has noticed some alarming trends among leaders.
Leaders tend to see themselves as a messenger who delivers a message rather than someone who must embody the message they deliver.
Substitute “missionaries” with “leaders” in that quote and you’ll understand why he felt compelled to pen this piece. Worth pondering.
Imagine being a missionary who’s afraid of flying. It’s a real thing, and probably more prevalent than you think. Joy Smalley is one, and she’s learned some ways to cope with her fear. Who do you know that could use her advice?
Rest – the key to long-term effectiveness. God wisely ordained Sabbath. While most missionaries admit to being sporadic in maintaining weekly Sabbath, even fewer know about or practice daily Sabbath. Michael Hyatt has several articles on the topic in his magazine this month—everything from daily naps to a month of sabbatical. Share these with the ones you love on the mission field.
Here’s another good post about Sabbath. Veteran missionary Bruce Cannon talks about the irreplaceable value of biblical rest.
Busyness can also be something we use to avoid intimacy.
He includes four reasons why Sabbath is such an important gift, some practical ideas, and some good books on the subject. You know what to do with this.
Those working in Europe might want to know about Le Chateau de Saint Albain, France. A ministry of Encompass World Partners, this would be a great place to take a little R&R (for free!) or even schedule a team retreat.
Jonathan Trotter offers one simple way to bless TCKs. Very practical, and his post includes some tools and resources worth checking out.
WinShape Marriage will be hosting a retreat designed specifically for missionary couples who have served two consecutive years out of the last three in ministry. The facilities and service are legendary (I’ve been there). Scheduled for March 15-18, you may need to hurry and register. Or send your favorite missionary couple as your treat.
ReBoot is a re-entry program for MKs 17-35. Two opportunities to choose, and a special wilderness experience option. Spread the word to any Canadian missionary families you know.
LeRuche debriefing events will be held in North Georgia three times this year: once in May and twice in August. Check their web site for dates and more information.
Debriefing is a key component in healthy transitions. If you know someone serving anywhere near Chiang Mai, Thailand, who will be leaving the field soon, you may want to let them know about this debriefing opportunity hosted by The Well.
The Radiant Life Retreat is a debriefing event for those who have live cross culturally for a year or more. The next program will be held in Grand Rapids, MI February 27 – March 8. After that they have one scheduled in Orlando, FL April 27 – May 5. Excelling Leaders, the hosting group, also offers individualized debriefings on request. Check their web site for more information.
Perhaps you are honored to be the confidante of some missionary. Someone who shares with you not only their triumphs but their failures. That is a sacred privilege. So how do you respond to that friend when they tell you they messed up? Holley Gerth has an excellent answer.
As a friend of missionaries, do you know how valuable your presence can be to them? Andrea Lowe wants you to realize how important your role can be in the life of a hurting friend.
Where nothing spoken or done can fix or undue or possibly make things okay, there is presence.
You don’t need to have lived cross-culturally yourself. You don’t need a degree in counseling. You just need to make yourself available.
The folks at Culture Concepts Consulting offer a range of helpful resources for “increasing resilience, longevity, and effectiveness.” Check out the Periodic Assessment of Team Health tool in particular.
BUMP IT UP A NOTCH
This is a longer read from Timothy Willard that will give you much to ponder. I believe the inner qualities that he promotes are exactly what we need to be effective care-providers for missionaries. Take 10 minutes to read this, but be warned: it will linger in your thoughts for days.
Hospitality is often at the core of the care we extend to global workers. But sometimes we may question our ability to serve wounded warriors when we are suffering ourselves. This post from The Serviette will challenge that assumption.
Thank you for persevering in your partnership with global workers. You are a key part of their ability to thrive on the field.
What I’m reading this week:
- The Emotionally Healthy Woman, by Gerri Scazzero (reading with my wife)
- Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert
- Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season, Gary Schmidt, ed.
- Living Far Away, by Esther Abbott
Just finished reading:
- Moving Far Away, by Esther Abbott
- Ali and Nino, by Kurban Said
- The Uninvited Companion, by Scott Shaum
- Messianic Christology, by Arnold Fruchtenbaum
- Those Who Wait, by Tanya Marlow
- Consider Your Calling, by Gordon Smith
- Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero