Casual Friday Resources

Apr 20, 2018 | Blog, Casual Friday

It’s been a rough week for me. Our most recent guests left us with the gift of amoebic dysentery. That has been draining in more ways than one. But I wouldn’t trade the week we spent together for anything. People like them must live with the threat of malaria, viruses, and maladies of many sorts every day. I am happy to spend and be spent on their behalf. How about you? How much are you willing to spend on behalf of a missionary’s well-being? Enough to check out these resources?



Kelly Depp reminds us that the health of our bodies and the health of our souls are interconnected. Good stuff for you to pass on.


Doing must proceed from being. That’s the basic truth that Karla Markus reminds us of in this post. An important truth that every missionary needs to be reminded of on a regular basis. That’s where you come in. Forward this to the sent-ones you know, and remember to practice Karla’s admonition yourself.


In today’s volatile and often hostile environment, encrypted messaging is becoming an increasingly important part of a missionary’s tool kit. Here is a great overview of what that is, how it works, and where to get it.



Here is a summary report on the most (and least) effective tools for fundraising, according to more than 5000 non-profits from around the world. Lots of good gleanings to be had for global workers who must raise their own support.


The folks at Tailored Fundraising Solutions have posted a couple of helpful articles. The first is about why you should gather as much contact information as possible in your fundraising endeavors. The second is about the power of hand-written thank-you notes. If you are involved in the life of a missionary who is raising support, you’ll want to forward these.



Dr. Anna Hampton talks about four types of people and how they respond to risk. If you work with anyone serving, or planning to serve, in a dangerous environment (at what isn’t these days?) you should read this. Also download the helpful dialogue and question sheet that accompanies it.


The Hamptons have compiled some documents to assist parents in debriefing their children in high risk environments. Valuable information here. Who do you know that could use it?



This is such an important part of helping missionaries maintain spiritual health that it deserves its own heading. This piece by Ruth and Kevin describe some of the benefits they are discovering during their time at Alongside. Part of your strategy of caring well for sent-ones should include financing debriefing opportunities.



British TCK Aneurin Howorth writes honestly about depression among his peers.

There are many challenges that need to be navigated, things like the challenges of transition or unresolved grief. We are a remarkably resilient people group, but we always need to get help from others, particularly when it comes to mental illnesses.

If you interact with MKs, especially older ones, you need to understand what Aneurin is saying.


Here’s another insightful piece by adult TCK Marilyn Gardner. (Side note: Her book, Between Worlds, should be on your missionary care bookshelf. Just sayin’)

When your identity is semi-rooted in movement, then you face a crisis when you stay put, when you plant roots, when you’re ‘stable.’

The challenges of growing up as a TCK continue long after life overseas has ended.


Missionary mom Rachel Pieh Jones suggests that one of the best things parents can do for their kids on the field is to point out the beauty around them.

How kids respond to a life overseas is directly related to how parents, especially moms, respond to it.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then perspective is imperative. Rachel offers some ways to nurture the right perspective.


Distinguishing between a calling and a craving—not an easy call for many MKs. Michele Phoenix address the topic of helping MKs redefine significance. If you work with MKs, you’ll want to read this (and everything else Michele writes).



There are a couple annual gatherings of care providers that you may want to consider attending. They are great opportunities to build upon your skill set and develop a network of like-minded people for the enhancement of your ministry to missionaries. The CareGivers Forum is one event. It will be held October 21-24 at the Green Lake Conference Center in Wisconsin. The other event is PTM: Pastoral Training in MemberCare, to be held at the Ridgecrest Conference Center in Asheville, NC October 2-5.


MKs 21-35 are invited to a back country “encounter with God” in beautiful Alberta, Canada. Wilderness ReBoot is now taking registrations for this July 2-7 event. Looking for something a little more tame? Check out the ReBoot 2018 event to be held August 4-11, also in Alberta.


“Will you or any global women you know be Stateside this summer? Would a few days of worship, prayer, Biblical teaching, pampering, rest, and fellowship with other women in an idyllic mountain setting be a blessing to your life?” Then you should know about the 2018 Colorado Retreat to be hosted by Thrive July 10-13. Space is limited, so register soon.


The folks at Interaction International are offering a transition seminar for TCKs returning to the U.S. It will be held in Colorado Springs, CO from July 21 through July 27.


Here’s an intensive debriefing opportunity from the folks at Sanctuary Inn, June 21-23. The venue is a beautiful lodge at the foot of Mt Hood, Oregon. Please note that this event will not be able to accommodate children.


Barnabas International will be hosting Interlude, a debriefing retreat, July 24-27 in Indianapolis, IN. A chance to share your story and reflect on God’s work in your life. More information and registration are here.


Sometimes the best encouragement is simply found in being together. Thrive retreats provide counseling, massage therapy, small group interaction, worship and prayer time, beauty care, and speaker sessions for women in cross-cultural ministry—all for $125! There is one coming up in Colorado in July, and one in the Philippines in October. Who would you like to send?


Elim retreats, a ministry of Barnabas, International, are held twice a year. “It is our heart to provide spiritual care to each missionary or global worker that participates in order to promote a time of rest, renewal, and restoration.” The next one is scheduled for June 10-15 in Wisconsin.



Planning to go visit your missionary friend on the field? Here are five quick tips for a safer and more exciting adventure, from the always-entertaining Jerry Jones. (There are some really practical ideas and useful links in this post.)


You might want to read this before the next time you welcome a missionary “home.” Ever done that and been surprised by their strong response? This is why. Kathryn Butler’s piece is useful for you and would be appreciated by any missionary to whom you forward it.


You can never be too good at listening. In this excerpt from business guru Tom Peters’ book, The Excellence Dividend, the author offers rules of good listening.

I firmly believe that if, after a half-hour conversation, you are not exhausted…you were not seriously/fiercely/aggressively attentive.

(I apologize for Tom’s unnecessary use of bad language.)



Here is a longer, chewy article by Benjamin Sledge that will stimulate much deep thought: “Today’s Problem With Masculinity Isn’t What You Think.” I believe there are some incredible ramifications addressed by Sledge that bear directly on our desire to care well for young male missionaries. Carve out half an hour to read this, and a few more hours to let it sink in.


Want to know first-hand what your missionary experiences in the process of enculturating? Want to expand your capacity to understand and appreciate other cultures? (Which, by the way, will enhance your prayer life immensely.) Want to know the difference between peaches and coconuts? Then watch this TED talk by Julien S. Bourrelle and ask yourself how you should get started following his advice.




You don’t need to be in “full-time ministry” to care for missionaries. You don’t need special training or a particular degree. (Though neither of those are unhelpful.) What you do need is a heart to help—and the Holy Spirit. May God himself continue to direct and empower your work of coming alongside global workers.


What I’m reading this week:

  • Spring: A Spiritual Biography of the Season, Gary Schmidt, ed.
  • How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth, by Gordon Fee
  • Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero
  • Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert

Just finished reading:

  • The Sin of Certainty, by Peter Enns
  • Your Best Year Ever, by Michael Hyatt
  • Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season, Gary Schmidt, ed.
  • The Emotionally Healthy Woman, by Gerri Scazzero (read with my wife)
  • Experiencing Grief, by H. Norman Wright
  • Terrific! Five Star Customer Service, by Stan Toler & Keith Hawk

Up next:

  • Consider Your Calling, by Gordon Smith