Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources
Summertime…and the livin’ is easy. Or so says the song. Whether the season brings extra work for you, or extra opportunities for relaxation (or possibly both), I hope you’ll still take time to avail yourself of these missionary care resources. Some are quite meaty; all are quite useful in your efforts to care well for the sent ones in your life. So grab a glass of something cold and dig in.
If you have a heart for missions and supporting missionaries worldwide, this book is for you! So says the blurb for How to bless a Missionary, by Jennifer Brannon. It contains “over 100 practical ideas for how to show missionaries that your care.” Could be a great entry-level resource in your m’care library.
Millennials will soon comprise a majority among sent ones. Missionary care for them will require the provision of mentoring. “Millennials have a high value toward growth and learning,” says mastery coach Keith Webb.
They are hungry for mentoring.
Dr. Webb details four aspects of the kind of mentoring millennials are looking for. Could you be the sort of mentor someone is praying will enter their life?
The relationship between sending churches and mission organizations has been described as a dance (among other less-kind descriptions). It is best if both partners know the steps and dance to the same tune. Ellen Livingood’s latest edition of Postings lays out the basic elements that will help ensure an efficient and cordial partnership.
Never underestimate the value of your contribution to a missionary’s life. A word of encouragement, a timely note, a bit of wise advice…all are a part of what God uses to keep global workers healthy and growing.
Each of us is a piece of the puzzle creating a beautiful masterpiece.
Deb Killian encourages all of us with this helpful reminder.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
Learn the unforced rhythms of rest. That’s how Eugene Peterson describes Christ’s invitation to yoke up with him in Matthew 11. Ann Voskamp penned a piece that brings the idea to life. Oh how desperately global workers need to master this art!
There are a few things I wish you had told me before I boarded that first plane. So begins Rebecca and Renette’s letter to Missions—a dozen super practical summaries of what they’ve learned in their combined years of experience. Here’s a little sample:
Relieve the pressure by regularly opening the can of worms and setting them free.
You’ll have to read the rest for yourself.
For every global worker (for everyone, really) there are so many things that should just never have happened. How to deal with them? Elizabeth Trotter has an idea that your friends on the mission field might well find useful when you share this post with them.
There are more than a few opportunities to be misunderstood during the re-entry process,” says M’Lynn Taylor. She lists a few for starters.
Deliver me from the need to be understood.
In the midst of all the changes, it is important to cling to what does not change. Be sure and check out the re-entry kit that Velvet Ashes is offering at the end of this post. You know someone who could use this.
Like walking through a thick fog. That’s how Beth Tillotson describes the challenges of one’s first return from the field. (It can feel much the same on the second, third … return as well!)
Transition is no joke.
Read how God walked with her in the fog. Someone you know could probably use this encouragement.
Talk about some timely advice! Joy Smalley looks back on her re-entry to begin college and makes some profound statements, like, “This overconfidence is compounded by our youth and is often used as a buffer to bury our inadequacy and unavoidable grief that has incurred by leaving home to return home.” If you are involved in the life of an MK recently back from the field, this post will be really useful for you and them.
Here is a timely reposting of an article written three years ago by MK advocate Michele Phoenix. (Thanks, A Life Overseas, for bringing it back to the surface.) Michele offers nine ways for MKs to navigate their grief in a healthy way. This should be in the hands of every returning MK you encounter.
Being a mom on the mission field? Tough. Being a single mom on the field? Even tougher. Julie Martinez speaks from experience. And her experience also garnered these great insights.
Give yourself grace. Let this be your mantra.
The missionary moms you know would be encouraged be Julie’s words.
It’s not too early to begin making plans to attend PTM (Pastoral Training in Membercare) – the one event we personally are determined to make every year. Join a few hundred member care people ranging from multi-year veterans to newbies. One of the best and most practical events of its kind. This year will be a special anniversary celebration that will make even more of a “don’t miss it” event.
There’s still time to register for Reboot—“a transition retreat for MKs aged 17-20 who are currently or have recently returned to Canada.” To be held in Ontario, July 13-20. Who could you sponsor for such a blessing?
Marriage counseling is not just for couples who are experiencing problems. Any marriage can be enriched and revitalized through a good marriage retreat, like Marriage Rekindled, offered by Alongside. Coming up September 30-October 4. Who could you bless with the gift of this event?
Are you working with someone in the early stages of determining their calling? The Journey Deepens offers a weekend retreat designed to help people discern their next step. You might want to consider attending along with the person you are mentoring. Coming up in September, in Indianapolis.
This woman has just gone from preaching to meddling. I mean, really—who gave her permission to pilfer my journals? OK, I know she didn’t, but her article really hits home for me. I am the INFJ she describes, and I know a boatload of missionaries in the same category. Addiction to ministry ideals? Absolutely. And it’s good to call it what it is. Dig into this piece for yourself. Does it raise any questions about some of the missionaries you know? How might you bring up the topic with them?
Addiction is a problem that is no stranger to missionary circles. And while there may be certain personalities that are more prone to it, none are exempt. But addiction is probably not what we’ve all been accustomed to think, as this piece by John Nugent points out. Read this carefully. What implications do you see for missionary care? How might your strategy for coming alongside global workers be affected by this?
If the core of addictive behavior is what John Nugent’s articles purports, then the companionship that Scott Shaum talks about in this post is even more important. How might your companionship be affected after reading this?
Please do take some time to enjoy what this season has to offer. The best thing you can do to help your missionary friends is to stay healthy yourself—spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
New on my bookshelf:
- Love Well: Living Life Unrehearsed and Unstuck, by Jamie George
- Innovation in Mission, by Jim Reapsome and Jon Hirst
- Serving Well, by Elizabeth & Jonathan Trotter
What I’m reading this week:
- Summer, A Spiritual Biography of the Season, Gary Schmidt ed.
- The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown
- Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith
- Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
- Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (updated), by Peter Scazzero
- The Return of the King, by JRR Tolkien
Recently finished reading:
- Never Quit: How I Became a Pararescue Jumper, by Jimmy
- Beloved Dust, by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel
- Invitation to Retreat, by Ruth Haley Barton
- Serving Well, by Jonathan and Elizabeth Trotter
- Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller