Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources
Around here the leaves are already transitioning from various shades of green to a spectrum of chartreuses. Some (like our walnut trees) are starting their annual pilgrimage toward the burial grounds of their forefathers. Though it seems bit early, the calendar and the almanac concur that it is indeed that time of year. Soon we will be inundated with pumpkin spice everything. Sigh…
Until then, here is a fresh batch of encouraging, informative, and challenging resources to enhance your missionary care efforts.
Sarita Hartz uses retrospect to talk about ways in which future missionaries can prepare themselves for service. Her thoughts will give you ideas as well about your role in such preparations.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
Missionary life is no laughing matter—but there is plenty to laugh about. Melissa Matthews expounds on the value of humor in keeping depression and burnout at bay. (We know a missionary who was ordered by his doctor to watch a funny movie every day as part of his recovery from dengue fever!)
Sharnel Smith talks honestly about the aspects of life on the mission field for which she was not prepared. Not only will her article give you a better idea of how to pray, it could also spark ideas for how you might be able to help prepare future missionaries.
Sheri Onishi offers four great perspective shifts that can help missionaries avoid burnout. Great conversation starters for you to employ with your friends on the field.
Five things every new global worker should know, according to Jerry Jones—complete with action points. Who do you know that is just starting out that you could forward this to?
One of the hardest aspects of adjusting to a new culture and home is the sense of isolation, or not fitting in. Joy Smalley shares from her own experience how to combat the disconnect.
Three missionary women discuss the challenges of missionary service in this third episode of a series. Listen to what they have to say about personal growth and moving forward.
Know anyone just getting started on the mission field? They’d probably appreciate these tips from Ashley Felder. (Plus there’s a free recipe for buttermilk biscuits!)
PARENTS OF MISSIONARIES (POMs)
Missionaries aren’t the only ones who need care; their parents also have special needs. Mindy Kiss talks honestly about how difficult it was for her to send her daughter overseas.
REST & RESPITE
Eden Ridge is “a missionary-focused retreat and vacation destination” near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They recently opened a new cabin which is ideal for parties of up to six guests.
Wisely wasting our days. Emily Gibson employs this phrase from an old British playwright to implore us to slow down and smell the roses. Her photography is a source of soul rest in itself. Spread this one around.
Katie McLaughlin applies a well-known analogy to the art of raising children (which can be a daunting task on the mission field).
There is no reason for homeschooling parents to shoulder the burden of teaching alone. And pre-school? Not a necessity. But if you are so-inclined, Elizabeth Trotter offers a slew of helpful resources to lighten your load.
Though the initial rush is over, many overseas workers are still returning to their sending country every week. Anisha Hopkinson has some encouraging advice for those who are on home assignment for the first time.
Tiffanie Wen talks about why people who leave their host country should stay in touch in this BBC article.
Take a look at the women’s retreats sponsored by Azmera. They also offer opportunities for you to volunteer at the retreats, so there’s something for your missionary friends and for yourself.
MissionPREP offers pre-field training as well as debriefing. Their next debriefing event will be in December and is based on the DAR program at MTI.
LeRucher debriefing events “serve to help cross cultural field workers ‘unpack’ their time in service.” The next scheduled dates are October 29-November 3, to be held in Clarkesville, Georgia, USA.
The most effective time for debriefing is typically 2-3 months after missionaries return from the field. That makes this event on September 4-18 ideal for those who will return this summer. Hosted by Heartstream, this is a two-week intensive care program which includes debriefing, 10 sessions of counseling, daily worship, and classes on various topics relevant to cross-cultural work.
“When a person tells his story and is truly heart and understood, he undergoes actual changes in his brain circuitry…” (Curt Thompson, M.D.) Debriefing is the chance for field workers to tell their story in a way that benefits them. Recalibrate! is an excellent opportunity for that. Registration now for this October event.
Sometimes your missionary friend simply needs more help than you can provide. That’s when it’s great to know about Global Counseling Network. They provide quality online services you can trust.
UP YOUR GAME
Want to learn more about how to minister to people who have experienced trauma? If you live anywhere near Charlotte, North Carolina, you might want to attend this seminar to be hosted by SIM.
With this video link Scott Shaum challenges all of us who care for missionaries to take a hard look at how and why we conduct our ministry.
Enjoy the Lord as you enjoy these final days of summer. May his love for you be your greatest motivation to love those he has caused to cross your path.
What I’m reading this week:
- Th!nk, by Michael LeGault
- Winston S. Churchill: The Challenge of War, 1914-1916, by Martin Gilbert
- Consider Your Calling, by Gordon Smith
Just finished reading:
- Winston S. Churchill: Youth, 1874-1900, by Randolph S. Churchill
- Summer: A Spiritual Biography of the Season, Schmidt & Felch, eds.
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni
- How Is Your Soul?, by Judah Smith
- The Blue Parakeet, by Scot McKnight
- Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero
- Living Far Away, by Esther Abbott
- Moving Far Away, by Esther Abbott