Casual Mid-October Friday
Well here we are half way through October already. Here in our corner of the world we just saw the weather take a turn toward autumnal overnight (with patchy frost predicted). I hope you are in some way able to enjoy whatever special joys accompany this season where you live. Meanwhile, many global workers are lamenting what they are missing by not being “home” right now. As you pull out your favorite sweaters and boots; as you pour yourself a mug of hot chocolate or cider; as you snuggle up on a gray day with a good movie or book, remember your friends on the mission field. You can be a real help and encouragement to them utilizing resources like these.
It’s no secret that most missionaries do not care for support raising. Jordan Smith believes that “if each missionary that was raising support was provided a financial support coach, most of the difficult issues that lone support raisers face would be eliminated altogether.” To that end, Jordan has written a guidebook that will equip you to be such a coach. He says anyone can do it!
LIFE ON THE FIELD
Missionary Cyndi Logsdon writes a letter to her brand-new-on-the-field self. Some good advice here for anyone you know just starting out on the mission field.
Adjusting to life in another country is not easy. And because we are holistic beings (body, mind, and spirit) one area of health affects the others.
Grace—that space between failure and success, that space where cross-cultural workers are always invited into, a space that makes a burden light and a yoke easy.
Marilyn Gardner talks about the importance of taking care of ones body.
Here’s yet another study indicating that naps improve mental activity. If you know someone who has recently arrived on the field and is tackling language and culture study, an afternoon nap may actually help them learn quicker.
When people ask me what we encounter most in our ministry of coming alongside global workers, I quickly respond “shift.” Missionary life is full of transitions, and those transitions are not just geographic. There are shifts in perspective, shifts in theology, shifts in self-awareness, shifts in values. So many shifts—and that can be unsettling. Patty talks about what happens when we lean into God’s purposes in this piece entitle “Shift Happens.”
Children are not always able to process all the changes they experience growing up on the mission field. This podcast from Taking Route features an interview with Jessi Vance, as TCK herself who now runs a non-profit to help others build relationships. She talks about the challenges they face and ways we can support them.
Adult TCK Dr. Rachel Cason knows all about identity issues for children who have been raised in more than one culture. And she knows the challenges of figuring out who you are. If you know a TCK who is wrestling with her or his identity, Dr. Cason is offering a free consultation. It may be just what they need to gain a sense of normalcy.
Far too many missionaries are driven by shame, and many more suffer from its effect on their ministry. Potter’s Inn is sponsoring a one-day seminar by Dr. Curt Thompson, author of The Soul of Shame, January 25, in Colorado Springs. You may be interested in expanding your understanding of this topic and learning ways to deal with it.
For those of you who partner with missionaries working in the East, you may want to read this BBC article on the differences between Western thinking and Eastern thinking. The more you understand about the culture in which your missionary friend works, the more intelligently you can pray for her.
Elizabeth Trotter acknowledges that senders make sacrifices, too (that could be you). Parents, grandparents, friends, previous co-workers—there are many who feel the absence of a loved one who is living on the mission field.
Some are called to go. Some are called to let go.
As you read this piece, written by Elizabeth’s best friend, think about how you might be a good long-distance friend. Or think about how you might be able to come alongside other senders to encourage them as they also make sacrifices.
You never know when you might be called upon to come alongside a missionary who has experienced some form of trauma. Dealing with trauma victims requires a specialized skill set, but you and I can be better encouragers if we understand what happens in the brain of a traumatized person. The folks at NICABM have posted this infographic that does just that. You might want to download the free copy.
Coming alongside people who are in pain requires sensitivity—a type of sensitivity that doesn’t come naturally to many of us. Wanting to say something helpful, we can easily end up adding to their pain. Michele Cushatt talks about the words those who suffer need most to hear.
BUMP IT UP A NOTCH
What is your understanding of moral humility? Of public humility, semantic humility, or intercultural, incarnational, or theological humility. If you’re like me, those phrases have rarely if ever crossed your mind. They are the subject of Andy McCullough’s new book Global Humility: Attitudes for Mission. Marilyn Gardner reviews it here, and her thoughts were enough for me to order the book. How about you? Does this look like something that would challenge you to growth? How might it be useful in your care of missionaries?
Never underestimate the value of what you have to offer the missionaries in your life. Thanks for stopping by to equip yourself.
New on my bookshelf:
- Dare to Lead, by Brene Brown
- Coaching Financial Support Raiser in Ministry, by Jordan Smith
- Arriving Well: Stories about Identity…, by Brubaker, Watts, and Cumberford
- Dragging Baggage: A Guide for Those Struggling on the Mission Field, by Alice Young
- Invitation to Retreat, by Ruth Haley Barton
- The Marketspace, by Larry McCrary
- Souvenirs of Solitude, by Brennan Manning
What I’m reading this week:
- Under Our Skin: Getting Real about Race, by Benjamin Watson
- Autumn: A Spiritual Biography, Schmidt & Felch, eds.
- Inspired: Slaying giants, walking on water, and loving the Bible again, by Rachel Evans
- Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
- Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert
Recently finished reading:
- The Garlic Ballads, by Mo Yan
- Summer: A Spiritual Biography, Schmidt & Felch, eds.
- Understanding Gender Dysphoria, by Mark Yarhouse
- Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero
- Extreme Teams, by Robert Shaw
- Receiving Sent Ones During Re-entry, by Zach Bradley
- The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
- Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan
- Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith