Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources

Oct 25, 2019 | Blog, Casual Friday

We are enjoying glorious autumnal weather in these parts (sorry for those of you who aren’t). The transition of seasons parallels in so many ways the transitions that global workers go through. And as the old saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The needs that missionaries have for your supportive input are ongoing. Equip yourself to care well with resources like these.

 

PRE-FIELD PREPARATION

There are many misconceptions out there regarding what the path to the mission field will be like. In this post, Naomi Johnston tackles four of the more prevalent ones. She also provides helpful suggestions to counter each of them.

 

EQUIP YOURSELF

Did you know that you can provide a vacation for your favorite missionaries? At top-notch destinations? For only $299 for a weekend? The folks at QuietWaters Ministries can make that happen. Check their web site to see how easy it is.

 

Here’s another great way that you can provide strategic resources for the missionary in your life. The Tie That Binds offers leadership coaching, catalytic networking, and self/soul care opportunities. And much more. Go check them out. Then start praying about which of their services you’d like to make available to a global worker.

 

Take a look at this resource for helpful podcasts on topics like re-entry, caring for TCKs during home assignment, and soul care for mission workers.

 

Here’s a resource you’ll want to know more about. Safe Place provides debriefing, pastoral care visits, training, field visits, and more. Take a look; they have a lot to offer—not only for the missionaries for whom you provide care, but for you as well.

 

Looking for debriefing, counseling, and therapy resources? Compass Ministries bills themselves as “open-sourced member care for Christian missionaries and their families.” You may want to read some of their past blog posts while you’re on their site checking what all they offer.

 

Could you be a seasonal bookend? Oh, in case you need to know what that is before answering, read this post from Kristen Strong.

I need someone who is a season or two ahead of me as well as someone who is a season or two behind me.

How can you apply what she has to say to your relationships with missionaries?

 

LIFE ON THE FIELD

Solitude and silence may seem impossible to attain on the mission field, but to maintain spiritual health, they are essential for global workers. Charles Stone explains why in this excellent article, and he includes eight benefits of solitude and silence.

 

Is pressure a positive or negative thing in the life of a missionary? The answer is yes, but I’ll let C. Anderson explain.

 

How might having a nanny expedite the work your missionary friend is trying to accomplish? Or how might a nanny be a part of good self-care? Jenny Scheer suggests six reasons why your missionary friends should give serious consideration to hiring help with childcare.

 

The story a missionary tells herself—her overarching narrative—makes all the difference in whether she will thrive or crash and burn. Amy Young talks about why narrative trumps surroundings (no matter how negative or pressure-filled) every time. How can you help your friends out there on the field rehearse a proper and productive story in their minds?

 

RISK ASSESSMENT & MANAGEMENT

Last week we posted the first installment of C. Anderson’s piece about questions every missionary should ask to stay safe. This week she posted part two. What conversations do you need to have with those global workers you provide care for?

 

TRANSITION

When in transition, it is important for missionaries to focus on that which does not change when everything else seems to be up for grabs. Jerry Jones illustrates this in his unique and humorous way. You might want to spread this one around…

 

Transition involves loss, and loss involves grief. Grief is a complex issue that deserves our thoughtful attention, especially since you will undoubtedly be called alongside a missionary who needs to grieve properly.

Why is it hard for people to grieve?

In this interview with Jeff Chu the importance of grief is investigated in a very thought-provoking way.

 

Do you know what a creative conversation is? Or why they are important?

What are they? What do they look like? Are you having them?

How might a coach be helpful in having such conversations? Tim Austin has some answers in this post over at the Global Trellis.

 

FUNDRAISING

Newsletters aren’t all about fundraising, but they are a huge part of it. Veteran missionary and newsletter writer, Amy Young offers five tips for writing effective newsletters. (And she should know, she literally wrote the book about writing newsletters.) Pass these along to the missionaries with whom you partner.

 

MKs/TCKs

How do TCKs react to news that they will be relocating to their parents’ passport country? A country that is foreign to them? Well, here is how Amy Medina describes it—and how she responded to their response. This will really enrich your prayer life for MKs/TCKs.

 

EVENTS

The 7th annual SE regional MK retreat, hosted by Compass Ministries, is scheduled for February 14-16. Register or get more information here.

 

Learn how to facilitate debriefing of children at differing developmental stages. The Kids In Family Member Care program (KnF CODAR) is accepting registrations for their December conference in Palmer Lake, Colorado. Having taken a condensed version of this, I can’t imagine a better training opportunity.

 

You might want to look into this soon for the m’s you know working in southeast Asia. Field Life will be hosting a Momentum Men’s Conference on Borneo if March of 2020. Looks like a great opportunity for you to bless someone with a soul-refreshing getaway.

 

A special getaway for a limited number of U.S. and Canadian women who live and work cross-culturally: Thrive retreat in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Now open for registration. Who could you send?

 

Here’s an online workshop that looks promising. Transitional Stress: Understanding, Identifying, & Navigating the Realities of Transition.  It will be held on November 12 via Zoom, so I assume it will be interactive. And the cost is only $30. This could be a great opportunity for you to learn more about caring for those global workers you love who are dealing with the stress of transition. I’m planning to attend. Will I see you there?

 

This looks like a phenomenal opportunity to gain an overall education in missionary care. Frontiers will be conducting a five-day conference next April called CareCon, “designed for pastors, church staff, family members, ministry partners, and anyone who wants to support global workers.” I want to go!

 

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?

 

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.

 

GOING DEEPER

“Being made in the image of God, we humans are likened to our Lord who is both One and Three—the Triune God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is one of the great mysteries about God—he is an inseparable, eternal, intimate, and affectionate community. If we, who are made in his image, remain islands unto ourselves, if we keep our relationships on the surface, if we push others away to a safe distance, we will fail to thrive. This is true because we cannot be vitally connected to a God who is One and Three while remaining disconnected relationally from each other. He has made us for community, not for isolation; for interdependence, not independence; for relational warmth and receptivity, not for relational coldness and distance.” What do you think of Scott Saul’s line of reasoning? How will it affect your missionary care?

 

Here’s a Scientific American article for you fellow enthusiasts of neurobiology. It’s about how sleep deprivation shuts down production of essential brain proteins. Now, it should go without saying, missionaries cannot accomplish their work if they are short on essential brain proteins! How might you be able to share this important information with those global workers you know who may not take their need for sleep seriously enough?

 

Well, looks like I’ve done it again. This is quite a list – but there are so many great resources out there. Pick a few and put them into practice this coming week.

 

New on my bookshelf:

  • Come Home, My Soul: 31 Days of Praying the Living Word, by Stephen Macchia
  • No More Dragons, by Jim Burgen

 

What I’m reading this week:

  • Souvenirs and Solitude, by Brennan Manning
  • 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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