Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources
Well, autumn is officially one month away. Around here leaves are already turning and dropping. I for one always look forward to what is my favorite season (but I can hold out for another couple weeks before breaking out the candy corn and pumpkin spice everything). Missionary needs know no seasons. The challenges they face are often perpetual, making your encouragement all the more valuable. Equip yourself with resources like these.
Though it was written primarily to acquaint prospective missionaries with SEND International, this piece by Josie Oldenburg contains some excellent questions that anyone could use in considering any sending organization.
Trying to figure out what’s different about your friend that just returned from the mission field? Rachel Pieh Jones has penned a humorous piece that may help. The sum total of such little things can result in a sense of estrangement. They can also be great conversation starters.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
An ounce of prevention is worth – how much? The missionaries you care about will face crises in the course of their work. It’s just a matter of when. How well they fare will depend on how well they’ve prepared. Having a support network in place before a crisis hits is the best plan, as Dr. Alison Cook explains in this article. How could you help your missionary friends create such a network? What part might you play?
That first year on the mission field can make or break global workers. Natalie Arauco shares five dangerous things that first-year missionaries are too quick to do. Besides just forwarding this to someone you know who is newly arrived in their country of service, you can play a strategic role in helping them be aware of these potential problems. Then you can track their experiences and keep an eye out. Prayerfully come alongside of them to remind them of the dangers.
There is a new tool online that promises to help cross-cultural workers flourish. Amy Young has spearheaded the Global Trellis project, an intriguing interactive web-based community that your missionary friends will want to explore. This article explains how it works, and though it mentions that the site is not quite ready, it is in fact live now. Check it out for yourself.
“One of the big landmarks on the road to ‘I think I can make it’ is learning to manage expectations.” So says Julie Martinez, and she should know.
The balloon-popping-event is a significant and positive event in the life of cross-cultural sojourners.
Her wise words will be valuable to everyone you know who is still adjusting to life in their place of ministry.
A righteous man falls seven times—and gets up. That’s what Proverbs says. Lack of falling is not proof of spirituality. What if we could learn to look at falling in a different way? Jenilee Goodwin’s post might just change your way of thinking. Who could you bless by forwarding this to them? And while you’re on her site, check out the incredible links page to resources you will want to know about.
In our admittedly reprehensible experience, we used to say that a person was not a real missionary until they returned to the field for a second term. Going back means going in with your eyes wide open. You know about the dirt, the smells, the hassles, the whatever—and you go back anyway. It was still hard. Imagine your missionary friend returning to the field and receiving a letter like this one from Lilly. What can you learn from her that might help you encourage your global worker friends?
The next time a missionary asks you about how and where to obtain a vehicle for their home assignment, send them to Righteous Rides. They provide affordable, well-maintained cars and vans to eliminate the stress of transportation needs.
Here’s a two-minute tip that could make a huge difference in the response rate to fundraising appeals. From the folks at Tailored Fundraising.
Want to sharpen your interpersonal skills? Well, there’s a workshop by that very name, and the folks at Alongside will be hosting one October 27-November 1, in Richland, Michigan. More information is available through this link.
Who do you know working in Europe of South America? Who would you like to bless beyond belief with the gift of retreat? The folks at Thrive know how to provide spiritual, motional, and physical care to field workers, and there are three upcoming retreats you should know about: one in Estonia, in October one in Croatia, in February of 2020; and one in Brazil, in April of 2020. You could pay someone’s way. Or—check this out: You could be a volunteer at one of these retreats and bless many people! Get the details here.
Sending and supporting the work of missions is complex and multifaceted. That’s why the folks at sixteen:fifteen will be hosting The Sending Triangle webinar on August 28. It’s free, and you can register here – but do it soon.
Coming up October 20-25: ABIDE, from Train International. “ABIDE is a six-day debriefing retreat that provides time and space to process your experiences, be refreshed and renewed, connect with other cross-cultural workers, and prepare for a healthy transition.”
If you’ve ever wanted to know more about missionary care in general; if you’ve ever wanted to network with those who have been doing the work for decades; if you’ve ever wanted to add to your own skill set in caring for sent ones—then PTM (Pastoral Training in Membercare) is for you. Coming up the first week of October, you can still get an early bird discount.
Marriage counseling is not just for couples who are experiencing problems. Any marriage can be enriched and revitalized through a good marriage retreat, like the one offered by Alongside. Coming up September 30-October 4. Who could you bless with the gift of this event?
Coming in September (and that’s soon!): Traction—a men’s retreat in Switzerland. “Traction is focused on helping men navigate their roles to regain spiritual footing and momentum to move forward.” Lots of opportunity for recreation and relaxation in a breath-taking environment.
You may need to act soon on this one. ELIM Retreats is a ministry of Barnabas International and is devoted to caring for the hearts of global workers. September 15-20 in Eagle, Wisconsin. Who could you send to this six-day retreat?
There is a growing awareness of mental health issues, not just in the United States, but around the world. The need for trauma response is perhaps one of the most urgent. Churches are beginning to think of sending mental health professionals within the context of their missions programs. This article by Gladys M.Witi and Bradford Smith, a Lausanne Global Analysis paper, will challenge you to consider the potential of that concept. It will also open your eyes to some of the mental health needs of traditional missionaries. How might your church take on these challenges?
As always, thank you for caring for the sent ones God has place in your path. I am quite sure they are grateful for any way in which you interact with them.
New on my bookshelf:
- Love Well: Living Life Unrehearsed and Unstuck, by Jamie George
- Innovation in Mission, by Jim Reapsome and Jon Hirst
What I’m reading this week:
- Serving Well, by Elizabeth & Jonathan Trotter
- Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith
Recently finished reading:
- Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
- Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller