Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources
Well, looks like our annual pseudo-Spring is about over. After a week of temperatures in the 50s and 60s we are back to mid 30s and even snow flurries. The variations in weather remind us of life itself: full of ups and downs. Your missionary friends experience them, same as you. All the more reason for you to walk with them. Equip yourself with resources like these so you’ll have something good to share along the way.
Midwest Conference on Missionary Care: Hard Pressed But Not Crushed: Caring for Missionaries Under Pressure. Register now for this informative opportunity to network with others who care about missionaries. February 17-18 in Minneapolis, MN.
Traction TRACTION is a 6-day experience designed to encourage global workers who serve in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. This conference is focused on helping men navigate their roles to regain spiritual footing and momentum to move forward. September 20-26, Switzerland
Building on the Basics: Creating Your Tribe on the Move This 3 day conference will be hosted by Families in Global Transition March 23-25 in The Hague, Netherlands. Over 50 presenters will offer a rich spectrum of helpful information that someone you know might well need.
“Transitions serve to bring about needed change, provide clarity in life direction, deepen values and shift paradigms. Our coaches can offer the support and structure you need to effectively process and move forward during your season of change.” Tim and Shelli over at Encompass Life Coaching are offering a sale on their transitions package. Who could you bless with this resource?
And here’s a great little book that Tim wrote that you could give as a gift: Transition Companion: Tips & Encouragement for Navigating Seasons of Change.
Kelly McClelland at Transition Time Coach offers free initial consultation to those considering transition coaching. Could be just the thing your missionary friend needs to decide if coaching would be beneficial.
Amy Young, author of Looming Transitions, has recently made an audio version of her book available. Check it out here, along with the related resources she offers.
Frances Green talks about an unexpected “guest” that accompanied her home from the field. This is good for anyone you know working in a place that requires hypervigilance.
Jami Staples admits her struggles after returning to the U.S.
It took less than a year, however, before I became acutely aware that resisting the resurrection of my inner “American” was equally as miserable as the once painful journey of killing it.
Pass this on to your friends who have recently returned from their “other home”.
Jerry Jones addresses the issue of identity loss that many missionaries feel. Your missionary friend might appreciate his wisdom on the subject.
Laura wrote this piece about the challenges of re-establishing relationships when a missionary returns to their sending country.
Life on the field
Elizabeth Trotter shares this insight regarding “fernweh” and “heimweh”—words for the one who’s far from home. Read this to gain a better understanding of what global workers feel.
The First 30 Daze: Practical Encouragement for Living Abroad Intentionally. The title of this book says it. I bet you know someone you could give this to.
When is safety an obstacle to the great commission? That’s the question the folks at The Mission Table, sponsored by Sixteen:Fifteen, will tackle during their live round table discussion on February 14. As someone who cares about the safety of your friends on the field, you may want to tune in for this.
Here’s some practical advice from Jennilee Goodwin on how to cope with the stress of living in an environment that may be less than safe at times.
Your role as a friend is summarized well in this article by JD Walt. Be one of those “few and far between” types that would be treasured by the missionary you befriend.
The challenges of the mission field can be brutal to one’s faith. Techniques that may have been sufficient to maintain spiritual health in the past may not cut it on foreign soil. Shanna Noel offers a practice that may click with your artsy friends on the field.
Another technique that works well for those who are visually oriented is known as visio divina. If a picture is worth a thousand words, it stands to reason that God can say much to us through our eyes. Still Life offers some sample images to consider: here, here, here and here.
Here’s a challenging thought:
Member care exists because community doesn’t. (Christina Baird)
You are part of the community that God intends to use to provide the care that missionaries need to thrive on the field. Don’t expect the “professionals” to take care of everything, to cover all the bases. There aren’t enough of them, and there are too many bases. May God bless you as you do your part.
What I’m reading this week:
- You Are What You Love, by James Smith
- Called to be Saints, by Gordon Smith
- Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season, an anthology
- Crito, by Plato
- The Apology of Socrates, by Plato
- Moments With the Master, by Ken Gire
- An Age of Barns, by Eric Sloane
- Creek Mary’s Blood, by Dee Brown
- Seven Days That Divide the World, by John Lennox
- Delighting in the Trinity, by Michael Reeves