Casual In-Like-a-Lion Friday

Mar 1, 2019 | Blog, Casual Friday

March—comin’ in like a lion in these parts. That means we can look forward to a calm exit, right? Yeah, sure. Fortunately, the issues that missionaries face are somewhat more predictable than the weather. You can be prepared to come alongside of them in helpful ways with resources like these.



Team conflict is one of the major reasons missionaries throw in the towel. This e-book, How To Build a Great Missionary Team, may be useful for you if you are ever called upon to counsel global workers who really want their team to work. And it’s something you can forward to them.


John Certalic has launched a podcast on the topic of biblically-enriched relationships. In the latest, “you’ll learn two broad principles of caring for missionaries and deepening your relationship with them.” Click here for access in iTunes, or here for access in Spotify. And while you’re there, check out the previous episodes.



If you are involved with someone who is trying to raise support for the field, you and they might want to watch this brief video on the spirituality of fundraising, courtesy of the Lausanne Movement.



Take heart, weary servant. That’s Craig Greenfield’s encouragement for those who are struggling with compassion fatigue, lack of breakthroughs, backstabbing, and disappointments of every sort. (He’s been there!) Using the story of Elijah, Craig presents a picture that any worn out missionary you know would appreciate.


Oh God, please help me do this! How often does a missionary utter that prayer? For some in the early stages of language and culture acquisition, it may be multiple times a day.

Many times we just need to run through the pain.

Anderson has a word of exhortation that you might want to share with your missionary friends. There are times when quitting should not be an option.



Looking for help or insights in caring well for MKs and TCKs? Daraja (Swahili for bridge) has some great resources to peruse.

Because the challenges are real

Michael Pollok, widely recognized as a subject matter expert on TCKs, founded Daraja to provide coaching counseling, programs, and events, that cover the full range of questions and concerns you may have.


The losses that TCKs endure often end up with unresolved grief. Caroline Black knows, from her own experience, and she wants to help you come alongside the TCKs you know in a way that will aid their transition. Really good stuff here.



Velvet Ashes will soon be hosting its annual online retreat—a unique experience for female field workers to come alongside each other for nurture and encouragement. This year’s theme is Shalom: Experience God’s intent for you. Scheduled for April 26-28 (with 30 day access), it only costs $25. But hey – why not sponsor a woman or two or four? That would make the experience even more special for them.


Are you involved in the decision making process for people working in risky environments? You may be interested in this workshop, “designed for leaders in small to mid-sized mission organizations and churches who want to know if they have ‘covered all their bases’ in risk analysis and crisis preparedness. May 9-10, in Minneapolis.


A soul Sabbath. Now there’s an idea! On March 16, the folks at Leadership Transformations will be hosting a half-day event in Winchester, MA. And at $35 per person, you could sponsor several missionaries for this opportunity to reflect in quiet and share with a small group.


Do you live anywhere near the Dallas/Ft Worth area? Want to learn more about caring well for those sent out from your church? Missions Resource Network and Great Cities Missions have teamed up to host the Missionary Care Summit, March 29-30, in North Richland Hills. Only $15 per person, meals included (I wish I could go!) Learn more here.


There are four debriefing events scheduled for 2019 at Sanctuary Inn: March 18-21, June 10-13, July 29-August 1, and October 21-24. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. There is no children’s program or childcare at these events. Check out their web site for costs and more information. (You could sponsor someone’s trip.)


Marriages take a hit on the mission field. While every couple would benefit from periodic marriage retreats, missionary couples don’t often avail themselves during their all-too-short home assignments. Well here’s one that might fit their schedule and their budget. WinShape Marriage is designed for “couples who have served two years of consecutive missionary ministry within the last three years.” The next event is April 22-26 at their beautiful facility in northern Georgia, with others scheduled for May, June, and July.


For those who might be going or sending people to the mission field as marketplace workers, long-term training will not likely be an option. The folks at Upstream Collective are offering a weekend training experience designed just for such a case. March 29-30, in Louisville, KY.


Le Ruche is offering two debriefing events this summer in northern Georgia. (You can also contact them to ask about custom dates.) It is designed for people who have served five or more years on the field.


Hurry! Abba’s Tree is a new adult debriefing program being offered three times this year, the next being April 4-9. Hosted at the beautiful facilities of The Hideaway Inn in Black Forest, CO by veteran debriefers George and Connie Blake. Every missionary should receive a debriefing like this when they are back in the States. Who might you sponsor for that privilege?


The 6th Asia Member Care Network Conference will be held April 29-May 3 in Penang, Malaysia, and registration is now open. The theme this year is Member Care in an Age of Accelerated Change. A great opportunity in a beautiful location. Who could you take with you?


The ReBoot MK re-entry programs for 2019 are now open for registration. These are for Canadians and are hosted in Canada. Know anyone who might be interested?


Barnabas Zentrum has posted their schedule of debriefing opportunities for 2019. If you know anyone who is returning to the U.S. between now and then, you might want to direct them to this site. Early registration is advised. Maybe you could cover the cost for someone? While you’re visiting their site, check out the other services they offer to cross-cultural workers.


The folks at Thrive have opened registration for their July, 2019 women’s retreat in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Who could you host for the exceptional deal? Want to volunteer to help at the retreat? There’s opportunity for that, too (scroll down a bit on the page).


What do men on the mission field need? This post about the Traction men’s conference does a good job of explaining.

Men serving globally are under a tremendous amount of pressure from so many angles.

Registration is now open for this six-day retreat in the Alps of Switzerland, to be held in September. And there are scholarships available! Who could you help get there?



What is “moral injury,” and how does it apply to global workers? Rachel Pieh Jones explains.

A wound to the soul

Most of us realize that the friend who left us to work overseas is not the person who returned. They are different somehow, sometimes in ways even they don’t fully understand. This article will give you plenty to ponder about what kind of damage can accrue to those who are forced to live outside their normal moral boundaries.


Why do we so often contradict ourselves and confound each other? Krista Tippett interviewed Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow to seek an answer to this question. The transcript is worth the time it takes to read. How might this affect the way you interact with the missionaries you seek to care for?


Treating people like people. That’s what missionary care is all about. Sometimes, however, sent ones are treated that strategic pawns, cogs in a ministry machine. That is not at all the way the Father views them. They are not expendable for “the cause.” Here is a thought-provoking piece from the business world. See if you can’t recognize some parallel problems in the world of missions—problems which underscore the need for proper care. By the way, I would love to hear your thoughts on this after you read it.


That should be enough to keep you going this week, in case you get snowed in—or even if you’re not. The global workers with whom you share these resources will be grateful in any case. Thanks for caring.


New on my bookshelf:

  • Tables in the Wilderness, by Preston Yancey
  • Out of the House of Bread, by Preston Yancey
  • The Missionary Family: Witness. Concerns. Care, Baker & Priest, eds.
  • Career-Defining Crises in Mission: Navigating the Major Decisions of Cross-Cultural Service, by Paul Keidel

What I’m reading this week:

  • The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
  • Take Care of Yourself: Survive and Thrive in Christian Ministry, by Pablo Martinez
  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
  • Healing the Wounds of Trauma: How the Church Can Help, by Hill, Hill, Bagge, & Miersma

Recently finished reading:

  • Winter, a Spiritual Biography, by Gary Schmidt, ed.
  • The Right Story, by Bernadette Jiwa
  • Arriving Well, by Cate Brubaker et al
  • Sojourner’s Workbook: A Guide to Thriving Cross-culturally, by Connie Befus
  • Dragging Baggage: A Guide for Those Struggling on the Mission Field, by Alice Young
  • Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan

Up next:

  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith