Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources
By the time you read this we will be in central Asia. That means I put this together a bit earlier in the week than usual, so there are a few less links. Rest assured that these are the cream of the crop. I’m sure you’ll find them useful and informative.
Keep in mind, for any of these events, that you could be a huge source of blessing and encouragement for your missionary friend by paying their way.
Abide re-entry program. Hosted by Train International, this five-day event is a guided debriefing for cross-cultural workers. Held in July and October near Joplin, Missouri, USA.
THRIVE overseas retreat. Know anyone serving in or near Papua New Guinea? Let them know about this opportunity October 31-November 3. Want to help facilitate the event? Thrive would love to hear from you.
THRIVE U.S. retreat. To be held in Beaver Creek, Colorado, USA July 18-21. Again, you could help facilitate as a volunteer.
Recalibrate! This five-day debriefing event will be held October 23-29 at the beautiful Gull Lake facility near Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
Prayer letters – a cause for head scratching for many global workers. Craig Thompson knows from experience. That’s why his suggestions are so helpful. Forward this to all your friends on the field.
Stress just goes with the territory for cross-cultural servants. Bill Tell urges disclosure to avoid being taken captive by stress. I’d be willing to bet you know someone who could really use this advice right now.
Stress management should be a part of every missionary’s self-care regimine. Wendy Suzuki reveals what neuroscientists have discovered about the connection between exercise and stress reduction.
And here’s another great strategy for dealing with stress: Psalm 46:10. Kimberly Rosenau explains.
Planning to be successful. That’s how Micah May with Support Raising Solutions suggests should be part of a fundraising strategy. Five very practical tips for the person you know who is trying to raise support.
This global worker based in Croatia uses the parable of the prodigal to talk about coming home. Forward this to your friends before they go on home assignment.
The following is taken from a newsletter I receive from a missionary care community. Think about how you might be that safe person to whom missionaries could share their spiritual challenges.
In my research I sought to find out the factors that cause missionary attrition in Africa. I interviewed the missionaries and the sending agencies/churches among others. I found out that there is a strong correlation between missionary care and retention of missionaries; missionary/member care helps to reduce or prevent missionary attrition. Overall, there needs to be a better way to care for missionaries because the work they do is demanding and more so because there are times when they go through emotional, mental and spiritual challenges yet feel as though they have no one to share their struggles with.
During the research, a number of missionaries shared with me that they were not free to share their spiritual challenges with their church or agency administrators for the fear that what they share might be used against them. Therefore, the need for care provided by people who are not perceived to be administrators is needed so that the missionaries can open up for help. Missionaries reported that most often the sending agency/church acts as a “fire brigade” that responds when a problem arises. Usually, by the time they step in to help, it might be too late to solve the issue. It is crucial that the missionaries know during pre-field preparation that the sending agency/church cares for them and will continue to show care by providing missionary care services while they are serving in their fields and even after their missionary service is done. As Africa is now sending out many missionaries to the least reached people groups, there is a need to make sure that the missionaries are cared for.
(Global Member Care Network (GMCN) March 2017; Reuben Langat, Ph.D., Associate Director, Heart of Africa)
FOR YOUR LIBRARY
The Idealist’s Survival Kit: 75 simply ways to avoid burnout. Written for humanitarian workers, this book holds plenty of great insights for cross-cultural workers as well. Why should you have a copy? So you can read it, recommend it, and offer your new insights with your missionary friends. (I just received my copy this week. I’ll let you know what I think.)
Marilyn Gardner has penned another helpful book about what it’s like to grow up on the mission field. Jonathan and Elizabeth Trotter offer this appetizing review.
If you think of it this next month, pray for Irene and I as we minister to weary workers in central Asia. Many of them have had little to no care since arriving on the field. Thank you for your desire to be used of God to provide the care that cross-cultural workers need. You are more valuable than you probably realize!
What I’m reading this week:
- Winston S. Churchill: Youth, 1874-1900, by Randolph S. Churchill
- The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
- The Prophetic Imagination, by Walter Brueggemann
Just finished reading:
- Running on Empty, by Fil Anderson
- Life of the Beloved, by Henri Nouwen
- You Are What You Love, by James Smith
- Rejoicing in Jesus, by Michael Reeves
- Breaking the Rules, by Fil Anderson
- Th!nk, by Michael LeGault