Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources
In like a lion, out like a lion? Half way through March and unpredictable volatility is the norm. Sounds a bit like life on the mission field. There are some things you can do to help your friends cope with the ups and downs. The following resources will get you started in the right direction.
Know anyone just starting as part of a team on the mission field? Or perhaps someone who’s had a rocky start? This free e-book, How to Build a Great Missionary Team, could be helpful. Easy to forward to those you know who need it.
Looking for a place to send your missionary friends for a little R&R? Check out Bethesda House in Charlotte, NC. With hosts Mark and Pam Taft and a stunningly beautiful setting, it would be hard not to come away refreshed. (A Life Impact Oasis)
RISK ASSESSMENT & MANAGEMENT
Fear is a major component of cross-cultural risk, says Anna Hampton. Her post on 5 Types of Fear in the Bible is helpful in confronting the misinformation and misconceptions that can turn fear into a debilitating problem. Recommend reading for anyone who comes alongside people who work in high-risk environments.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
Loneliness and homesickness often go hand-in-hand for field workers. Maria Mullet tackles both subjects in this post. The insights she shares will certainly inform you of ways in which you can help your friends deal with these potentially serious issues.
Do you want your missionary friends to be successful? Before you can answer that question, you must have a good definition for success. It is all-too-easy for us to place expectations on global workers that are unhealthy or unbiblical. Marilyn Gardner walks us through her process in coming to grips with what God is looking for in his servants.
Lethargy is a common experience for global workers. I know, we think they are always pumped about the opportunities for Kingdom work. But sometimes the daily grind grinds them down. Or familiarity breeds contempt. Whatever the source, Christie Chu has some good advice on how to overcome a lack of motivation.
What have I done to my children? When Amy Medina raises that question, she echoes the hearts of myriad missionary mammas. Her self-reflection will be appreciated by any parents on the field that you know struggle at times with the way their decisions have impacted their children.
Understanding the special needs of MKs/TCKs is something that comes naturally to Michele Phoenix. Raised in France as an MK, Michele went on to teach at Black Forest Academy where her heart for MKs grew until she launched her own ministry. In this short video, she explains why her work is imperative, and why you should be a part of it.
We’re doing something a little different here. Next week we will post a special edition of Casual Friday that is focused on events: training opportunities, marriage retreats, debriefings, re-entry programs, and more. Make sure and stop by next Friday.
BUMP IT UP A NOTCH
“The importance of addressing the global problem of psychological trauma can hardly be overestimated. Big-picture ‘guesstimates’ of the current levels of trauma are staggering, running into the hundreds of millions of people.” (Global Initiative for Stress and Trauma Treatment) The chances are that, sooner or later, you’re going to run into a global worker that has experienced trauma, and you’ll want to help. While I’m not suggesting you wade into waters that are over your head (some things are best handled by professionals), I am suggesting that there is a lot you can do to equip yourself to play a significant role in helping missionaries deal with trauma. You can start by checking out the Global Initiative for Stress and Trauma Treatment (GIST-T) Knowledge Center. You will find an incredible amount of information on the causes and consequences of trauma, treatment options, and psychological first aid (perhaps something you can provide). If you are a reader, there are several books you may want to acquire: Building Back Better: Sustainable Mental Health Care After Emergencies; Psychological First Aid: Guide for Field Workers; Trauma and Resilience: A Handbook; Resilience in Life and Faith: Finding Your Strength in God.
Thank you for caring enough to stop by, for equipping yourself to care well for the global workers God has brought into your life.
New on my bookshelf:
- Tables in the Wilderness, by Preston Yancey
- Out of the House of Bread, by Preston Yancey
- 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
What I’m reading this week:
- The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
- Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
- Healing the Wounds of Trauma: How the Church Can Help, by Hill, Hill, Bagge, & Miersma
Recently finished reading:
- Take Care of Yourself: Survive and Thrive in Christian Ministry, by Pablo Martinez
- 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
- Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith