Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources
If you’ve stopped by here very often, you know that I consider you a vital part of God’s strategy for keeping his global workers healthy on the field. Equipped with resources like these, you will be able to come alongside your missionary friends in vital ways.
The folks at People Raising will be hosting a conference in Oak Brook, Illinois September 28-29. They say they can help reduce the amount of time it takes to raise support by as much as half. Surely you know someone who could benefit from this.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
Maria Mullet mulls over the four prevailing paradigms under which most missionaries conduct their ministries. (Is that enough alliteration?) This cross-cultural English teacher was recently captivated by a preposition. (That should pique your interest!) “I’m not waiting on God,” she says, “I’m waiting with Him.” Everyone you know of the mission field could learn something from this post.
The first weeks and months on the field are usually the most challenging. But they don’t have to be overwhelming. Elizabeth Hill shares 10 pieces of advice that would probably be useful to your friends who are just starting out in cross-cultural living.
Many are led to believe that time spent adjusting during transition is lost time. Transition expert Jerry Jones (serial expat, in his words) begs to differ. He offers five ways to shift that paradigm and salvage time that would otherwise be lost. Missionaries you know who are navigating their first term on the field will find this particularly helpful.
Natalie Seale offers some really practical advice for those who have just arrived or will soon arrive on the mission field. Who do you know in that category that you can share this with?
Know any men working in Europe who could use a breather? Catalyst International will be hosting Traction, a renewal conference for men serving cross-culturally. September 19-25, in the beautiful Swiss Alps.
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.” You need to hurry if you want to get the early registration discount for PTM; it ends on August 31.
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.
BUMP IT UP A NOTCH
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.
I don’t have a way to link to this so that you can read it in its original setting, so I’m going to just paste it in here. It provides both a rationale and exhortation for missionary care from a woman who has many years of experience.
In this current age of missions, increasing unprecedented challenges continue unabated. Besides the crises, the mundane normal stresses can equally take their toll on the best of global workers. Adjustment to the new environment, learning language and culture, feelings of isolation, safety, security and health concerns or even team problems can overwhelm the worker. These issues do sap energy and drain emotions.
From feedback, we found out that pastoral care can make a big difference in how our workers respond to these difficulties. One family says, “…it has helped us to navigate through those crisis passages…Without which, we could almost certainly say, we would not have gone this far in our faith journey.”
Trust relationships, however, must precede pastoral care. When there is trust, workers find it safe to open up to disclose their struggles. That way, pastoral caregivers will be able to journey with them and help them process the issues they are encountering. Trust is built through sincere practical expressions of care. These are the tangibles, be it hospitality, responding to emails, prayer letters, prayer needs, or answering specific questions/requests which they may have from time to time. Seemingly little and insignificant but these acts speak volumes that they and their needs matter. …
Missionaries are human with needs like everyone else. We must not assume that they are spiritual giants and can handle any challenge all by themselves. Pastoral care extended to His shepherds goes a long way to encourage the weary and lift them up during stressful times. It energizes them to be resilient and stay on to fulfill God’s calling.
Belinda Ng, Singapore
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 John 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
- 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:
- Understanding Gender Dysphoria, by Mark Yarhouse
- 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
- The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
- Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan
- Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith