Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources

Aug 17, 2018 | Blog, Casual Friday

Short and sweet this week; been a very full seven days with lots of guests. Plus it’s been a bit quiet on the internet, so fewer items of interest crossed my screen. In any case, the following resources should prove to be useful to all of you who continue to improve your missionary care skills.



Most cross-cultural workers live with stress levels that would be off the charts for the rest of us. They have a greater degree of resilience, but they are not unbreakable. John Ostdick offers 11 strategies for managing stress, and though this was not written for missionaries in particular, it is particularly applicable.


Anisha Hopkinson shares a tongue-in-cheek letter for all those who wrestle with the myriad opinions about the acceptability of their missionary service. You probably know someone on the mission field who would enjoy this.


Life on the mission field can be grueling, especially during the initial months of culture shock and lifestyle adjustments. Sometimes the best dinner a wife can manage is popcorn and bananas, as Rachel Pieh Jones admits in this humorous piece. This is sure to be an encouragement to anyone you know who is just starting their cross-cultural adventure.




The neutral zone is that “nowhere between two somewheres” that missionaries face every time they go through a transition. (One version of it is what we called “furlough fever” in our day: people who are so focused on home assignment that for months leading up to it they are all but useless on the field.) Gail Goolsby describes the symptoms and offers some solutions in this piece at Thrive Connection.




Know any women working near Uganda or Cyprus who could use a refreshing break? An Azmera retreat may be just the ticket. You can even volunteer to help. Or perhaps you would like to contribute toward a scholarship for someone who might not be able to attend otherwise. Get all the details here.


There are a couple annual gatherings of care providers that you may want to consider attending. They are great opportunities to build upon your skill set and develop a network of like-minded people for the enhancement of your ministry to missionaries. The CareGivers Forum is one event. It will be held October 21-24 at the Green Lake Conference Center in Wisconsin. The other event is PTM: Pastoral Training in MemberCare, to be held at the Ridgecrest Conference Center in Asheville, NC October 2-5. If you live in the area and cannot attend the whole event, you may want to consider coming to the pre-conference workshop to be led by Neal Pirolo. His topic will be “developing and building a church-based member care plan.” Discounts for early registration are still available until September 1.


Registration is now open for the Thrive retreat to be held in Ghana April 29-May 2, 2019. Did you know that you could apply to be a volunteer to help facilitate Thrive retreats? You can find more information for attendee and volunteers here.




How well do you know those generations younger than yourself that will comprise the missions force of the future? Is your overall impression of millennials and Gen Z positive or negative? TEAM missions coach Stephanie Maher wants to help you understand what the next generation of potential missionaries is really like.


Looking for a place you can send your missionaries friends for some R&R? Check out Shelter Pines. Located in the beautiful Black Forest area of Colorado Springs, this venue comes with the option of debriefing or life coaching sessions.


Could you use some tips for how to receive your returning sent-ones? How about advice on how to handle the first 30 days on the mission field? Or how to build an advocacy team? The folks at Upstream Collective have a number of free PDFs that you can access here.




If you visit missionaries on the field, to minister to them in whatever way, you will appreciate these helpful suggestions from Nairy Ohanian. Following these guidelines will help you avoid all kinds of physical and emotional exhaustion—important if you want to be fully available to those you go to serve.


Want to get an advanced perspective on missionary care issues? Are you looking for a place to network with professional care providers? Mental Health and Missions may be for you. Hosted by Barnabas International and held in northeastern Indiana, registration is now open for this November 15-18 event.



Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for caring for the global workers God has put on your heart. I’m quite sure they appreciate your efforts.


New on my bookshelf:

  • Desired by God, by Van Moody
  • Dying Well, by Jiyn Wyatt
  • Gen Z: The culture, beliefs, and motivations shaping the next generation, by Barna
  • Insurgence, by Frank Viola
  • Sojourner’s Workbook: A guide to thriving cross-culturally, by Connie Befus
  • Christianity at the Crossroads: How the second century shaped the future of the church, by Michael Kruger
  • Innovation in Mission: Insights into practical innovations creating kingdom impact, by Jim Reapsome and Jon Hirst

What I’m reading this week:

  • Inspired: Slaying giants, walking on water, and loving the Bible again, by Rachel Evans
  • Understanding Gender Dysphoria, by Mark Yarhouse
  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
  • The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, George Long trans.
  • How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth, by Gordon Fee
  • Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert

Recently finished reading:

  • Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero
  • Extreme Teams, by Robert Shaw
  • Receiving Sent Ones During Re-entry, by Zach Bradley
  • Stones of Remembrance, by Lois Evans and Jane Rubietta
  • Group Glue: The collective power of…group questions, by Jeffrey Cook

Up next:

  • The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
  • Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan
  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith