Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources

Sep 6, 2019 | Blog, Casual Friday

Paradox. It’s all around us. Some of us are relishing delightfully cool nights; others are dealing with a hurricane. Missionary life is full of paradoxes, too. It is the best of all jobs, and it is the hardest/worst of all jobs—at the same time! You can help the missionaries you love navigate their paradoxes by coming alongside them with resources like these.

 

EQUIP YOURSELF

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘repent’? Stephen Smith suggests that its essence is at the core of soul care. Read this and see what you think. How might you incorporate this perspective into your care of missionary souls?

 

Team relationships are a primary target of the enemy. Marrieds and singles both think they understand what life is like for the other—but rarely are they accurate. Sue Eenigenburg has compiled research from 289 missionaries representing 12 agencies to “not only build unity and understanding of each other, but enable greater effectiveness in ministry.” Sacred Siblings: Valuing One Another for the Great Commission, is now available. Buy a copy for yourself; buy several to share with your friends on the mission field.

 

FUNDRAISING

The folks at Shepherd’s Staff have compiled an impressive list of links related to the topic of missionary fundraising. Financial concerns and pressures comprise a huge percentage of the stress that many global workers carry. When you pass on resources like these, you will be helping to reduce that load.

 

LIFE ON THE FIELD

Have you ever thought about noise as part of culture shock? For many cross-cultural workers, the level of noise in their host country can range from annoying to maddening. Jonathan Trotter shares various ways he has tried to deal with his loud environment. You may well know of someone who would appreciate his advice.

 

Interpersonal conflict: still the #1 cause of unnecessary missionary attrition. Jay Jarboe offers some great insights into how to minimize team conflict in this very practical article.

 

Sooner or later, I trust you will visit a missionary on the field. Before you go, you might want to send them these suggestions from John Walsh. He offers 10 ways to host well (which may be less intuitive than you think).

 

MKs/TCKs

What does it mean to be ‘culturally fluid,’ and how would you interact with someone who is? Ruth Van Reken knows, and she’s happy to share. Besides enlightening yourself, you may want to forward this article to the TCKs you know.

 

EVENTS

Are you concerned about friends who will be working in high-risk areas of the world? This security training may help you be more at peace. November 18-20, in San Diego, CA. Could you maybe sponsor someone to attend?

 

Registration is now open for Velvet Ashes connection groups. Bayta Schwarz shares how she benefitted from such a group. Pass this around to the women you know out there “at the ends of the earth.”

 

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 or 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.

 

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.”

 

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?

 

GOING DEEPER

Hurry Slowly: Challenging the Cult of Speed — “We live in a world of scarce understanding and abundant information. We complain that we never have any free time yet we seek distraction. If work can’t distract us, we distract ourselves. We crave perpetual stimulation and motion. We’re so busy that our free time comes in 20 second bursts, just long enough for us to read the gist and assume we understand. If we are to synthesize learning and understanding we need time to think.” Ponder what this piece has to say. How might it impact your understanding and practice of missionary care?

 

Is suicide potentially a problem for missionaries? Oh yeah. Don’t ever think that it isn’t. Jeff Lander’s in-depth article will cause you to think twice about the way suffering can affect global workers. And he offers several resources that would be useful to you as a person who cares about missionaries. How else might his information prompt you to respond?

 

In the middle of two conflicting realities, always look to the one unchanging truth: God loves you. Be the one who reminds your missionary friends.

 

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:

  • Getting Started: Making the most of your first year in cross-cultural service, by Amy Young
  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel

 

Up next:

  • Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller

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