Casual Glorious Autumn Friday
Blizzards in the Northwest; drought in our neck of the woods. Will autumn ever truly arrive? Seems we ask that question more years than not. Some of us are waiting eagerly for our favorite season to settle in. Others are dreading the harbinger of winter. The affect that waiting has on us very much depends on our orientation. Your missionary friends are waiting, too. Waiting to become proficient in a new language. Waiting to encounter a person of peace so they can begin their work. Waiting for fruit from their efforts. But whether they wait in hope may be influenced by you. Equip yourself to wait with them, to extend hope when it seems lost.
There will not be a new Casual Friday post on October 11. We will be attending the PTM conference in North Carolina. Be assured that an extra-large edition will be posted on October 18. (Maybe you’ll have time to get through this one in the meanwhile.)
Hope deferred makes the heart sick. In part, that is because we are so often so bad at waiting. Did you know that one Hebrew word translated as ‘hope’ in many verses is also rendered as ‘wait’ in others? Learning to wait is hard work—for us and for those missionaries we love. As we grow in our own capacity we will be able to assist others who are struggling. Scott Shaum’s post will give you some incentive.
Are your familiar with this resource? The Silencio series is designed to enhance your time with the Lord, and it’s free. Take a look at this sample. You might want to let your missionary friends know about it, too.
Why should churches send their own people to the mission field? Jeff Jackson, founder of Shepherd’s Staff, says there are many benefits. Some of them have to do with missionary care. Listen to part one of his two-part message on the topic.
Here is a soul care organization in England that you might like to know about.
The gift of someone’s presence in life is invaluable,
Their primary means of provide care is through customized retreats. While you’re on their page, check out their great batch of resources.
Here is a free brochure to show you how one group deals with missionary care from the sending church. It is specific to their denomination, but you can glean plenty of good ideas from their material. And here Is an in-depth breakdown of each of the components mentioned in the brochure. There is a TON of good material in here!
LIFE ON THE FIELD
Can a person have two homes? Two families? Deb Smith thinks so, and her photo gallery proves it. So many cross-cultural workers could affirm what Deb expresses.
Earlier I linked to a post about one missionary’s journey through burnout. In this post Beth talks about how she came out of it. (She provides links to parts 1 & 2 as well.) This is precisely the type of thing you need to understand if you want to care well for your missionary friends. Burnout is a very real problem for most, if not all, global workers. Beth offers 5 questions that could be helpful for someone battling with this all-too-common problem.
Urgency and emergency. Both are very common aspects of overseas service. Both are dangerous, and failure to dealing with them properly will lead to burnout eventually. Stephen W. Smith suggests a different paradigm, one that is sustainable. You probably have someone in mind who should read this…
Most missionaries know to expect culture shock when they first enter their host country. Few of them expect to encounter it when they return to their passport country. Natalie Arauco shares four truths about reverse culture shock that you should know. You should also share these with anyone you know who may soon be returning to their passport country.
This! Oh, my yes—this. What Joy Smalley talks about in this incredibly candid post could be echoed by countless hundreds of us who are among the ranks of “ex” missionaries. Her words would almost certainly be appreciated by anyone you know who is dealing with the painful confusion of leaving the field.
Ah, the blank stare…or it’s close cousin, the MEGO syndrome (mine eyes glazeth over). How many missionaries have experienced this when trying to raise support? Fundraising guru Steve Shadrach explains why it happens, and he offers some helpful resources for dealing with it. Who do you know who needs this?
I have been enrolled in the Fully Funded Academy for many months now, and I can honestly say there is nothing else quite like it. Mike and Mary are positively passionate about helping missionaries raise the funds they need to conduct their ministry. Tons of practical advice, monthly coaching calls, frequent webinars and email encouragement—all for a very modest investment. This may be just the thing your missionary friend needs to get over the hump.
One of the most common questions that TCKs have is, Who am I? Dr. Rachel Cason knows—she is an adult TCK herself. If you know any MKs/TCKs you might want to introduce them to Dr. Cason’s site. She just be the listening ear they need.
Here’s an online workshop that looks promising. Transitional Stress: Understanding, Identifying, & Navigating the Realities of Transition. It will be held on November 12 via Zoom, so I assume it will be interactive. And the cost is only $30. This could be a great opportunity for you to learn more about caring for those global workers you love who are dealing with the stress of transition. I’m planning to attend. Will I see you there?
This looks like a phenomenal opportunity to gain an overall education in missionary care. Frontiers will be conducting a five-day conference next April called CareCon, “designed for pastors, church staff, family members, ministry partners, and anyone who wants to support global workers.” I want to go!
“The number one felt need among missionaries and global workers, is to be back in community with others who understand them.” With that in mind, the folks at Intermissionary will be hosting The Gathering, a weekend retreat to be held in Nashville, TN. Check it out, but hurry. This event begins on October 11. Know anyone you can sponsor?
You may be interested in this opportunity: CareGivers Forum, to be held October 27-30 at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina. Join a wide spectrum of practitioners to interact, network, encourage each other, and develop your skills.
Are you concerned about friends who will be working in high-risk areas of the world? This security training may help you be more at peace. November 18-20, in San Diego, CA. Could you maybe sponsor someone to attend?
Want to sharpen your interpersonal skills? Well, there’s a workshop by that very name, and the folks at Alongside will be hosting one October 27-November 1, in Richland, Michigan. More information is available through this link.
Who do you know working in Europe or South America? Who would you like to bless beyond belief with the gift of retreat? The folks at Thrive know how to provide spiritual, motional, and physical care to field workers, and there are three upcoming retreats you should know about: one in Estonia, in October one in Croatia, in February of 2020; and one in Brazil, in April of 2020. You could pay someone’s way. Or—check this out: You could be a volunteer at one of these retreats and bless many people! Get the details here.
Coming up October 20-25: ABIDE, from Train International. “ABIDE is a six-day debriefing retreat that provides time and space to process your experiences, be refreshed and renewed, connect with other cross-cultural workers, and prepare for a healthy transition.”
Learning brain vs survival brain: Which would you guess tends to dominate during a missionary’s first months on the field? This short video by Jacob Ham was developed for teachers, but with a little sanctified imagination, you could apply it to missionary care. After watching the video, think about how you might be able to walk alongside of a missionary who is just starting out on the field. What else would you need to know or understand to care well?
That should keep you going for a while. Remember, no new post next week, but be watching for an extra-large edition on October 18.
New on my bookshelf:
- Come Home, My Soul: 31 Days of Praying the Living Word, by Stephen Macchia
- No More Dragons, by Jim Burgen
What I’m reading this week:
- Serving Well, by Elizabeth & Jonathan Trotter
- Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith
Recently finished reading:
- Getting Started: Making the most of your first year in cross-cultural service, by Amy Young
- Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
- Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller