Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources

Feb 22, 2019 | Blog, Casual Friday

I’m beginning to wonder what we brought back with us from the frozen tundra known as Minneapolis. With temps below zero, and wind chills much lower than that, you would think viruses would all be dead. Well….Irene and I have both come home sick. Doing a lot of sleeping (under piles of blankets). But that doesn’t mean that the needs that missionaries have for your love and encouragement are put on hold. Here’s what I’ve been able to scrape together in my more lucid moments.


Are you planning to go visit your missionary friend this year? (You are, right?) These 14 travel tips from Conde Nast will come in handy.


If you haven’t been to Crosswired recently you should visit soon. They offer a growing list of courses and materials for missionaries and missionary advocates. You may want to consider joining their very affordable monthly service (only $7 per month).


Here is a brief interview with a missionary father that will give you insights into how to care for the global workers you know. Note particularly his comments about maintaining relationships with key people in his sending country.


For those of us who are functioning as shepherds to God’s scattered flock (aka missionaries), it is imperative that we understand how true ministry works. Scott Shaum does a great job of explaining that in this piece. A good reminder, and perhaps a necessary one.


Looking for a place to send your missionary for some R&R? Check out Sonscape, in the mountains west of Colorado Springs. They offer personal coaching and week-long retreats, among other things.



The results of fundraising efforts are directly tied to the preparation for raising those funds. So says Steve Shadrach over at Support Raising Solutions.

The way I raise my support is the way I will do ministry.

So how does Steve advise one to prepare? Read this to find out.



Believe it or not, missionaries go through periods of time when it feels like God has checked out on them. Gone dark. Gone silent. If you know anyone struggling through a season like that, this article by Randy Alcorn might be helpful for you to pass on.


Everyone goes through a “valley” now and again, missionaries included. Amy Young has compiled a very useful list of resources for those you know who are going through a time of “diminished light.” This is something you should forward to every global worker you know. And keep it handy yourself; you may be able to serve as a light in dark places for someone you love.



Looking for help or insights in caring well for MKs and TCKs? Daraja (Swahili for bridge) has some great resources to peruse.

Because the challenges are real

Michael Pollok, widely recognized as a subject matter expert on TCKs, founded Daraja to provide coaching counseling, programs, and events, that cover the full range of questions and concerns you may have.


The losses that TCKs endure often end up with unresolved grief. Caroline Black knows, from her own experience, and she wants to help you come alongside the TCKs you know in a way that will aid their transition. Really good stuff here.



A soul Sabbath. Now there’s an idea! The folks at Leadership Transformations will be hosting a half-day event in Winchester, MA. And at $35 per person, you could sponsor several missionaries for this opportunity to reflect in quiet and share with a small group.


Do you live anywhere near the Dallas/Ft Worth area? Want to learn more about caring well for those sent out from your church? Missions Resource Network and Great Cities Missions have teamed up to host the Missionary Care Summit, March 29-30, in North Richland Hills. Only $15 per person, meals included (I wish I could go!) Learn more here.


There are four debriefing events scheduled for 2019 at Sanctuary Inn: March 18-21, June 10-13, July 29-August 1, and October 21-24. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. There is no children’s program or childcare at these events. Check out their web site for costs and more information. (You could sponsor someone’s trip.)


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.


Hurry! Abba’s Tree is a new adult debriefing program being offered three times this year, the next being April 4-9. 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. 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.


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 do men on the mission field need? This post about the Traction men’s conference does a good job of explaining.

Men serving globally are under a tremendous amount of pressure from so many angles.

Registration is now open for this six-day retreat in the Alps of Switzerland, to be held in September. And there are scholarships available! Who could you help get there?




Any chance you could be the person Avant is looking for?


What is “moral injury,” and how does it apply to global workers? Rachel Pieh Jones explains.

A wound to the soul

Most of us realize that the friend who left us to work overseas is not the person who returned. They are different somehow, sometimes in ways even they don’t fully understand. This article will give you plenty to ponder about what kind of damage can accrue to those who


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 like 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.


I trust you are healthy – body, soul, and spirit – and that you will put these resources to good use in the days ahead. Thanks for caring enough to drop by!


New on my bookshelf:

  • The Missionary Family: Witness. Concerns. Care, Baker & Priest, eds.
  • Career-Defining Crises in Mission: Navigating the Major Decisions of Cross-Cultural Service, by Paul Keidel
  • Too Soon to Quit: Reflections on Encouragement, by Lareau Lindquist
  • Glory, Glory, Glory: Focusing on the Glory of God, by Lareau Lindquist
  • Why, Lord…Why? By Lareau Lindquist
  • Sanctuary in Time: A Sabbath Retreat Guidebook, by Chuck Cervenka
  • All the News that’s fit to tell and how to tell it: How to write Christian newsletters, by Amy Young
  • Love, Amy: An accidental memoir told in newsletters from China, by Amy Young
  • Recovering From Traumatic Stress: A Guide for Missionaries, by Lanham & Pelletier
  • Swirly, by Sara Saunders
  • 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
  • Healing the Wounds of Trauma: How the Church Can Help, by Hill, Hill, Bagge, & Miersma
  • The Rise of the Mystics, by Ted Dekker

Recently finished reading:

  • The 49th Mystic, by Ted Dekker
  • Winter, a Spiritual Biography, by Gary Schmidt, ed.
  • 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

Up next:

  • The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith