Casual Glorious November Friday
It had to happen sooner or later: snow is a possibility in our forecast this next week. How is it where you are? How is it where your friends serve as missionaries? The more you know about their living conditions, their environment, their responsibilities, the better able you will be to walk alongside them. They need your listening ear, your understanding heart, your encouraging words. Equip yourself with resources like these; you’ll both be glad you did.
Resiliency is a key concept in the realm of missionary care. We all need to learn more about how it is nurtured, and what comprises it. Silas West and Steve Findley host a new podcast on the topic. I think you will find them quite helpful.
For most global workers, transition is a constant fact of life. It can be draining, even discouraging. But Dr. Christina Baird suggests a more positive perspective.
We need to welcome change as an opportunity to grow and develop.
Read her Tips For Coping With Change & Volatility in the latest Missions Interlink newsletter.
Here’s one of the most comprehensive lists of m’care resources I’ve seen yet (although we are not listed, for some reason…). 32 pages of categorized links; everything from coaching to women’s ministries. Did I mention it’s free? Thanks Team Expansion!
Hurting people hurt people. This is as true among missionaries as it is anywhere—and there are a lot of hurting people on the mission field. How would you love an emotionally unhealthy person? C. Anderson offers five guidelines. You might want to share this with your missionary friends who may find themselves working with an unhealthy partner.
Here’s a new report from the folks at Missio Nexus. It’s called the Church Missions Leader Survey Report + Analysis 2019. Yeah, I know—that’s a mouthful. But it looks interesting enough that I just ordered a copy. (Update: received my copy just before this was uploaded. It looks great.) In addition to feedback from 133 church missions leaders, it contains lists of ideas, books, and other equipping tools. If you don’t want to risk the $25 cost, use the comment section below to ask me what I thought of it.
What is soul care, and why is it important? Well, the folks at Potters Inn are glad you asked! This article does an excellent job of answering both questions—and why you, as someone who provides care for global workers, should want to learn all you can about it.
Many missionaries view support raising as an unpleasant chore at best, or a necessary evil at worst. Jeff Jackson, director of Shepherd’s Staff, shares a different outlook from his days as a supported missionary. These are encouraging thoughts that you might want to pass along to the missionaries you know who live on support.
We are moving into the time of year when everyone and their dog will be asking for a donation. The majority of missionaries I know raise their own support, and maintaining relationships with dozens of donors can be tedious at times. That’s why I found Brian Saber’s Top Nine Questions to Ask a Donor article refreshing. So would the missionaries you know, I’m guessing.
Keeping in touch with people who we don’t see regularly takes initiative. That’s the opening line for Chelsea’s post on how to communicate value to ministry partners. Her suggestions are basic and down-to-earth—just right for the global worker you know who is just starting out.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
When did you last stop to take a good look and soak in the color of your life? Patty wants to know. She says that God takes pleasure in your delight in His mystery and creativity in the place and people around you. Next time your missionary friend tells you they are bored with their living situation, or next time they say something about feeling dull in their spiritual life, have them read this post, and to ask for “God eyes.”
Guilt and shame often accompany someone who leaves the field, in addition to soul-numbing sorrow. Rebecca Ramirez understands. That why she wrote this piece entitled, When We Leave, He Stays. You may know someone who needs to read this right now. It will also help you know how to come alongside a person who is wrestling with departure from the mission field.
What’s the big deal about getting a job? Ask anyone who’s returned from the mission field. There are as many answers as there are missionaries. In this post, Rachel Zimmerman (a former intern of ours at Paracletos) offers a well-worded description of her transition, and why it was a big deal. Her transparency will help you better understand your missionary friends if and when they leave the field.
You really need to see this. A group of TCKs got together and create their own YouTube video on what life is like for them. You will learn much from them that will help you in relating to the MKs/TCKs that you know. You should make sure they have a chance to see this, too.
The 7th annual SE regional MK retreat, hosted by Compass Ministries, is scheduled for February 14-16. Register or get more information here.
Learn how to facilitate debriefing of children at differing developmental stages. The Kids In Family Member Care program (KnF CODAR) will accepting registrations for their December conference in Palmer Lake, Colorado. Having taken a condensed version of this, I can’t imagine a better training opportunity.
You might want to look into this soon for the m’s you know working in southeast Asia. Field Life will be hosting a Momentum Men’s Conference on Borneo if March of 2020. Looks like a great opportunity for you to bless someone with a soul-refreshing getaway.
A special getaway for a limited number of U.S. and Canadian women who live and work cross-culturally: Thrive retreat in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Now open for registration. Who could you send?
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!
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.
The harvest laborers of today look less and less like those of even 20 years ago. God is raising up and sending out people from many countries around the world. That means there is an increasing chance that the American missionary you know will find herself working alongside a non-American. And that means that interpersonal relationships will look different.
Previous models don’t work in our context.
The care that is provided will need to accommodate a broader spectrum of cultural backgrounds. This meaty article in Christianity Today, written by Dorcas Cheng-Tozun, will give you plenty to ponder. Read it prayerfully, and ask the Father how your efforts at providing care may need to shift.
If you find these resources to be useful, who else do you know who might also like them? Help us spread the word so that even more missionaries can receive the care they need from people like you.
New on my bookshelf:
- The Voice of Jesus, by Gordon T. Smith
- Managing Transitions: Making the most of change, by Wm and Susan Bridges
What I’m reading this week:
- Mansions of the Heart: Exploring the seven stages of spiritual growth, by R. Thomas Ashbrook
- Serving Well, by Elizabeth & Jonathan Trotter
- Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith
Recently finished reading:
- Autumn: A spiritual biography of the season, Gay Schmidt, ed.
- Souvenirs and Solitude, by Brennan Manning
- Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
- Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller