Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources

Nov 2, 2018 | Blog, Casual Friday

Aaannd we’re back. Had a delightful time on South Padre Island sharing with a group of WGM missionaries during their retreat. Also was totally reminded of the ongoing needs of cross-cultural workers, and how very important you are in the process of caring for them. Resources like these will enhance your efforts.



Why You Need to Hit Pause to Keep Moving. That’s the very appropriate title to this insightful post from Ian Morgan Cron. I realize that many missionaries (maybe most) will object that the SNAP approach the Ian promotes is impractical on the field. Perhaps it is. But leaving home and setting up shop in a foreign country is not exactly practical, either. It is possible to do even the impractical, and it may even be imperative.


Another post on the theme of pausing (or, in Joy Allen’s words, stopping). Includes some very practical suggestions for how to do it. Share this with your missionary friends.


Going on retreat on the mission field? Are you kidding? Who’s got time for that? On the contrary, no one can afford not to practice routine retreats.

Many of us have no idea how addicted we are to human striving, hard work, and performance-oriented drivenness until we actually stop.

Ruth Haley Barton, in this excerpt from her latest book, Invitation to Retreat: The Gift and Necessity of Time Away with God, explains why retreat is so important. Every missionary you know needs to understand this.


Exercise is important for all of us, but especially for missionaries who must cope with high levels of stress. The number one excuse for not doing it? Not enough time. Christina DesMarais  shares some scientific evidence on the benefits of even five minutes a day. Every missionary can afford five minutes a day.


Missionaries are frequently tempted to burn the candle at both ends. Turns out that is not wise, nor is it good stewardship of one’s body. In this brief video, neuroscientist Dr. Tara Swart  explains the link between inadequate sleep and dementia. She also talks about how to know if you are getting enough sleep.



Simon Johnson, an OMF missionary to Taiwan, reflects on the value of resilience and how to develop it. This is an incredibly important topic that every missionary and missionary care provider should learn about.



There is a connection between transitions and the need for community, as Jerry Jones points out in this post. Yet many expats struggle to find and maintain community in their host culture.

In any transition, it is unfair to compare the end of the last thing to the beginning of the new thing.

Good words to pass along to those you know on the mission field.



Tanya Crossman does an excellent job of explaining why internet relationships just don’t cut it with TCKs. You will benefit from reading and understanding what this adult TCK has to say on the subject.


Tanya also shares about what may be the most-often voiced complaint of TCKs: Everyone leaves. How does that affect them? How can they cope with this reality? Tanya knows, and she’ll let you know in this post.


Sue Querfeld admonishes us to remember the “K” part of “MK”. Good balance here for the ones you know raising children on the mission field.



Far too many missionaries are driven by shame, and many more suffer from its effect on their ministry. Potter’s Inn is sponsoring a one-day seminar by Dr. Curt Thompson, author of The Soul of Shame, January 25, in Colorado Springs. You may be interested in expanding your understanding of this topic and learning ways to deal with it.


The folks at Thrive have opened registration for their July, 2019 women’s retreat in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Who could you host for this exceptional deal? Want to volunteer to help at the retreat? There’s opportunity for that, too (scroll down a bit on the page).



As one who provides care for global workers, have you found yourself exhausted by the effort? Scott Shaum wonders why that topic has been searched more than any other on his blog site.

Are we need-driven rather than Father-responsive?

He poses several questions that are worth pondering, even if you haven’t yet crossed the line from tired to exhausted.


Friendship—true friendship—is perhaps one of the biggest needs a missionary has. And yet many will hesitate to pursue it if they know that the friendship may not last very long. Be the kind of friend that Kris Diggins writes about in this piece; that will encourage your missionary acquaintance to make the effort.


Many, many missionaries experience traumatic events. Many of them continue to be affected even after they leave the field.

Experiencing critical incidentstrauma, and high levels of stress is common in many of the contexts where cross-cultural workers serve.

Andrew Shaughnessy interviews two high-profile examples, and one counselor, about PTSD and secondary trauma in this article from World magazine. You would do well to educate yourself on this topic.


Here’s a great podcast on the subject of gains and losses in missionary care. The Upstream Collective discusses both sides of this issue—from the sending church’s perspective, and from the sent-one’s perspective.




What is your understanding of moral humility? Of public humility, semantic humility, or intercultural, incarnational, or theological humility. If you’re like me, those phrases have rarely if ever crossed your mind. They are the subject of Andy McCullough’s new book Global Humility: Attitudes for Mission. Marilyn Gardner reviews it here, and her thoughts were enough for me to order the book. How about you? Does this look like something that would challenge you to growth? How might it be useful in your care of missionaries?


Thank you for caring enough to stop by and peruse the latest batch of resources we’ve compiled for you. May God bless your use of them.


New on my bookshelf:

  • The Sacred Echo: Hearing God’s Voice in Every Area of Your Life, by Margaret Feinberg
  • Marching Off the Map: Inspire students to navigate a brand new world, by Tim Elmore
  • Sacred Pathways, by Gary Thomas
  • Moving from I to We, by Paul Ford
  • Knocking Over the Leadership Ladder, by Paul Ford
  • Dare to Lead, by Brene Brown
  • Coaching Financial Support Raiser in Ministry, by Jordan Smith
  • Arriving Well: Stories about Identity…, by Brubaker, Watts, and Cumberford
  • Invitation to Retreat, by Ruth Haley Barton
  • The MarketSpace, by Larry McCrary
  • Souvenirs of Solitude, by Brennan Manning

What I’m reading this week:

  • Dragging Baggage: A Guide for Those Struggling on the Mission Field, by Alice Young
  • Inspired: Slaying giants, walking on water, and loving the Bible again, by Rachel Evans
  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
  • Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert

Recently finished reading:

  • Autumn: A Spiritual Biography, Schmidt & Felch, eds.
  • Under Our Skin: Getting Real about Race, by Benjamin Watson
  • The Garlic Ballads, by Mo Yan
  • Receiving Sent Ones During Re-entry, by Zach Bradley

Up next:

  • The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
  • Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan
  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith