Casual Friday ‘Tis The Season

Feb 3, 2017 | Casual Friday, Fundraising, Transition

‘Tis the season. No, not THAT season. We just got past that one. I’m talking about home assignments and all that goes with. When we were on the field we often joked about “furlough fever.” We were so caught up in preparing—plane tickets, housing and transportation arrangements, speaking engagements—that we barely thought of what we were supposed to be doing on the field!

This is the time of year when many families will be making plans for visits to their passport country. Prepare yourself for their arrival (and help them prepare) with these timely resources.


Midwest Conference on Missionary Care: Hard Pressed But Not Crushed: Caring for Missionaries Under Pressure. February 17-18 in Minneapolis, MN, USA.

Come Away My Beloved Billed as an opportunity for “discovering the spiritual disciplines within a learning community.” Held in Sevierville, TN, USA April 21-28 and September 8-15.

Interlude “A debriefing retreat for global workers. A time to process your story.” Provided by Barnabas International. June 13-16 in Carmel, IN, USA and July 31-Aug 3 in Littleton, CO, USA.

Emmaus Encounter These folks provide debriefing in a gorgeous setting—near Flathead Lake, Montana. They also facilitate outings for men who want to spend time with God in the great outdoors. Add this to your gift list for some beloved missionary.


You know you are prepping for furlough when…

Jennilee Goodwin lists 50 (!) ways a missionary reacts to an upcoming home assignment. Anyone you know preparing to return to their passport country will get a smile out of this.

The realities of returning

Rachel Hicks shares candidly about her experiences in transitioning between countries and cultures. Sooner or later you are likely to have a chance to minister to someone returning from the mission field. You’ll appreciate having this understanding to draw from.

Life on the other side of transition

Tim Austin explains how coaching can be strategically important for those re-entering their passport country. If you know of someone leaving the mission field, you might consider gifting them with a month or two of coaching.

More on coaching

Gail Goolsby weighs in on the subject of coaching over at Thrive. She presents a great overview of what coaching is and is not, as well as the benefits. Good for any phase of missionary life.


Raising a support team

Jack Popjes offers succinct helpful advice for those just starting out on the support raising journey. Know anyone in that category?

Pre-field training

I’ve linked extensively to the work of The Upstream Collective in the past. Now you need to know about their training program. Excellent preparation for anyone planning on overseas service. Choose from a one or two week curriculum. Hosted in Louisville, KY, USA September 9-16 and 17-23.


Nurturing hope

Emily Gibson’s beautiful photography and thought-provoking poetry work well together to create a sense of well-being. Here is a great example that you might want to pass on to your friends on the field.

Heads up!

Scott Shaum has launched a series on “spiritual thinness,” something he has observed to be a chronic problem among overseas workers. You will not want to miss what Scott has to share. It will benefit you as a care provider as much as those you care for.


The value of singles

Grace Thornton explains why single missionaries are so important to the overall cause of missions. If you minister to singles, you’ll want to read this.

The way we picture God

Craig Thompson urges us to trade our version of God for the Bible’s. Missionaries need to hear this, and so do we.

The “other half” of the missions equation

I’ve been promoting this perspective for years. Zach Bradley’s admonition to consider the health and growth of missionaries as vital to the goal of discipling the nations is spot on. See if you don’t agree.

What missionaries wish you knew

There have been many who have written on this topic. Amy Medina expresses what many missionaries would love to say to you. This piece will challenge, encourage, and stimulate you to love and good deeds.

6 ways to bless your missionary friend

Anyone know who writes this blog? I appreciate her contribution to this topic. You will find her ideas most helpful and practical.

Helpful tools

While you’re visiting The Upstream Collective, check out their assortment of useful articles and checklists. They cover everything to determining a calling to debriefing returnees. Nothing over $1.99, and many are free.

When you go

You are planning to visit your missionary friends on the field, aren’t you? When you do, arm yourself with these great tips on how to save money on hotel fees.

And in case you’re planning to drive…

Here’s what you need to know about paying tolls in rental vehicles. Prepare yourself.

Here’s a challenging thought:

Member care exists because community doesn’t. (Christina Baird)

Never forget that you are part of the community that God intends to use to provide the care that missionaries need to thrive on the field. Never stop growing in your capacity to play your part. Until next week…

What I’m reading this week:

  • You Are What You Love, by James Smith
  • Delighting in the Trinity, by Michael Reeves
  • Phaedo, by Plato

Just finished:

  • Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season, an anthology
  • Crito, by Plato
  • Called to be Saints, by Gordon Smith
  • The Apology of Socrates, by Plato
  • Moments With the Master, by Ken Gire

Up next:

  • Seven Days That Divide the World, by John Lennox
  • Accelerate, by John Kotter