Casual Leap Year Friday
Leap year. Does it seem like this month is lasting forever? There’s something about turning the calendar page to March that says Spring is near. Meanwhile… There are a lot of resources this week focused on self-care. Be sure and share these with your friends on the mission field (after you read them yourself, of course). All of these resources have been selected in an effort to equip you to care well for the sent ones in your life. Put ‘em to good use.
(Good spiritual hygiene for global workers)
Home assignment, or furlough as it’s sometimes called, can be tiring and unsettling. Mike Osborn suggests a balance of the “three Rs” as an antidote. “The foundation of honoring God in the stewardship of our lives,” he states, “is love: Love the Lord, love your neighbor.” Furlough is no time to slack up on caring for yourself.
Speaking of home assignment—how about scheduling some time for a soul care retreat? Leadership Transformations will be hosting a two-day retreat in March. Get the details here. (You missionary care providers may want to pay someone’s way…)
Burn out is all too common among cross-cultural workers, even when they know better than to burn the candle at both ends. But there is no shame in seeking help after the fact, as Sarah Hilkemann explains. Know anyone who should read this?
Burn out, or slow burn—which is worse? Maybe they are equally bad. In this post, Monica talks about how she found herself wrestling between two desperate needs: to stay put, and to get away. Her story is not unique; most missionaries will benefit from reading this.
Safety and sanity—two things every global worker would like, but often seem to be at odds with each other. Marilyn Gardner shares the wisdom of her experience in how to cope when everything around you refuses to cooperate.
(Resources to help sending churches care for their sent ones)
Team issues are often cited as a major contributor to missionary attrition. Andrea Sears has been conducting research on the topic. You can see her findings here—and you should look at them and study them and pray about how your missionary care should be adjusted.
If you care for missionaries who work within honor-shame cultures, you may be interested in the Honor-Shame Conference: Reconciling the Nations. To be hosted at Wheaton College June 8-10. You can find more information on their web site.
Ever wonder how your missionary friend feels after flying back to the the States? Well, Rachel Pieh Jones will give to you straight up. Seriously funny, this post—because it’s all too real. Enjoy, and then pray about how you might be able to care well for someone in this situation.
If you live anywhere near North Richland Hills, TX and you want to learn more about how to care for your missionaries, you should check this out. Experienced missionary care providers will be presenting Missionary Care Summit, March 27-28, and it’s only $20. Sponsored by Mission Resource Network and Great Cities Missions.
What is a sending church responsible to do before launching someone into cross-cultural ministry? The folks at The Upstream Collective have compiled a handy checklist of 50 (!) things you should consider. The free download is available here.
(Professional level help)
Debriefing is one of the best things a missionary can do for themselves while going through a transition. The folks at Barnabas, International will be hosting two more opportunities in 2020: Interlude will be held in June, and July. Check here for more information. You may want to begin planning now to send your favorite missionary to one of these—your gift to them.
The next opportunity to attend a Recalibrate! debriefing event will be March 29 – April 4. Only six lots available, and the deadline for registration is Match 22. You’ll find all the details here.
Want to be trained in debriefing? Paracletos is offering 4 opportunities this year (March, June, August, and November). Openings for 6 individuals for each of these 5-day trainings. Comment below to ask for details.
Who do you know that could use some R&R? Paracletos offers top-notch hosting at Baan Sabai Lodge. Check the lodge website for available dates.
It’s not too early to start thinking about re-entry programs for MKs—like Reboot. They have limited space for their program next summer, so early registration is encouraged. Who could you sponsor?
The folks at Thrive Ministry will be hosting 3 more retreats this year: Colorado (USA), Brazil, and South Africa. Did you know that you can volunteer to help staff those retreats? And did you know that you can sponsor someone to attend? Learn more here.
I am registered for this phenomenal opportunity, and I’m taking a pastor with me. 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.” Will I see you there? I’d love to connect!
“Are you looking for a time to quiet yourself before the Lord and receive His rest? This is for you.” Safe Place is extending this invitation to attend Ancient Paths Retreat. If you know a missionary close to the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, you might want to give them the gift of retreat in February.
(Useful titles to have on your m’care bookshelf)
Unmet expectations are one of the greatest factors in missionary burnout and subsequent attrition. Sue Eenigenburg and Robin Bliss teamed up to address the issue in Expectations and Burnout. Though the subtitle mentions it’s about women surviving the Great Commission, most of the content is equally applicable to men. This book deserves a place on your missionary care bookshelf.
That about does it for this week. Leave a comment and let me know what you think of this new format. And be sure to stop by every Friday for the latest resources that will help you care well for the missionaries you love.