Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources
The change of seasons that we enjoy in the United States is something many missionaries miss when they’re on the field. Among many other things, for sure, including access to close friends. You can demonstrate your love for the cross-cultural workers you support by learning about life on the field and by utilizing resources like these.
RISK ASSESSMENT & MANAGEMENT
What are the things parents worry most about when it comes to their children’s safety? How well do those concerns measure up to actual statistics? Rachel Pieh Jones has a little quiz to help you understand when you can relax a bit.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
One of the challenges of cross-cultural living is getting to the point of feeling accepted in the host culture. Of belonging, of being at home. Renee Aupperlee talks about experiencing those things in relationship with Jesus. Your friends on the field would appreciate this.
Burnout is a very real concern for many cross-cultural workers. In the world of missions, it seems like there are never enough workers to cover all of the work. As Sheridan Voysey discusses in this article, burnout begins with weariness. He offers advice for how to keep weariness from escalating into burnout.
Hurry up and wait. That saying may have originated in the military, but it readily fits cross-cultural living as well. Marilyn Gardner offers a helpful perspective on waiting. Your missionary friends would appreciate this.
One of the challenges of transition can be the loss of a familiar role. Amy Young tackles that topic in this piece, including signs that someone might be suffering from such losses.
Would you consider someone who has moved once or twice…a year…for the past ten years (!) an expert on transitioning? Christie Chu is that person, and she has some great advice for those who are facing transition—even if it’s only once.
Here’s a somewhat tongue-in-cheek post about returning to the U.S. and looking for a job. Anisha Hopkinson describes what that can be like. Know anyone who might be returning soon?
Ever wonder what missionary life looks like through the eyes of an MK? This poem by Nhaya Paden will give you a glimpse. Everything you learn about MK life will enrich your interaction with the missionary kids you encounter.
Flexibility and rootedness—two essentials for coping with the winds of change. Adult TCK Dr. Rachel Cason talks about the challenges of growing up highly mobile. How might you be able to nurture flexibility and rootedness in the TCKs you know?
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.
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.
Want some help from science on how to beat jet lag? Check out this article from the Washington Post. You might want to share it with your missionary friends, too.
Are you ever asked to help someone choose a sending agency? This podcast from Global Missions may help you and them make an informed decision.
Pioneers offers this helpful list of questions people ask about potential obstacles to missionary service.
Listening well is a skill that needs to constantly be honed. This Christianity Today article by Nathan Betts is in the context of interacting with non-Christians, but many of the principles are useful for anyone who seeks to come alongside missionaries for encouragement.
Pastor Jeff Jackson believes that “current or former US military members and their spouses generally make very effective missionary care providers.” Know any of these? Do you think Jeff’s reasoning makes sense?
BUMP IT UP A NOTCH
Every generation has certain generic characteristics that can be discerned through statistics. “The young adults of the Millennial generation are showing a higher rate of mental problems than previous generations,” says Gene Veith in this compelling article. Though generalities are just that, and though the statistics quoted apply largely to non-Christian young people, the underlying realities most certainly affect many missionaries and missionary candidates in that demographic. In fact, theological and missiological paradigms can often exacerbate this disturbing problem. Read it for yourself and see what you think. What tendencies have you seen in Millennials that would support Veith’s premise. More importantly, how will you interact in the lives of Millennials you know to mitigate this problem?
A while back I posted a link about a survey conducted by Andrea Sear on missionary attrition. More than 750 missionaries responded to her queries about the preventable reasons people leave the field. Now, after having time to analyze her data more thoroughly, Andrea has launched a series of posts unpacking her findings.
This is one of the most exciting and useful piece of news to hit the missionary care world in many years.
I have to admit, I can’t wait to see all that she has uncovered, and to begin incorporating her findings into our work at Paracletos. How do you see this survey helping you?
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. Early registration discount expires at the end of September.
Educate yourself; encourage your friends. And keep an eye out for others that you might be able to nurture in the fine art of missionary care. You can start by telling them about Casual Friday.
New on my bookshelf:
- Souvenirs of Solitude, by Brennan Manning
- 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:
- Autumn: A Spiritual Biography, Schmidt & Felch, eds.
- The Garlic Ballads, by Mo Yan
- 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:
- Summer: A Spiritual Biography, Schmidt & Felch, eds.
- 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
- The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
- Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan
- Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith