Casual PSL Friday

Aug 30, 2019 | Blog, Casual Friday

Brace yourself. Pumpkin spice is about to descend in mass quantities. (I’ve even seen pumpkin spice Cheerios on the market!) I enjoy a good PSL as much as anyone, but surely there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Except when it comes to missionary care. Can’t have too much of that. So whether you’ll be indulging in the flavor of the season or avoiding it, avail yourself of these resources for cross-cultural workers.  



How does one share the gospel within a different culture? How can it be made culturally appropriate and understandable? The classic answer, in missionary vocabulary, is contextualization. The folks at CIT are offering an online course that can help you (and the missionary candidates you mentor) get a handle on the concept. It is available three times over the next months, so you’re likely to find a slot that works for you.



Out of sight, out of mind? Not an uncommon scenario for sent ones. Shirley Ralston offers some practical ways to keep that from happening. How might you and your church implement her ideas?


I don’t know of another tool quite like this one. Author, missionary, missionary care provider, and Denver Bronco fan Amy Young has once again given us a valuable collection of wise insights in her latest book, Getting Started: Making the Most of Your First Year in Cross-Cultural Service. Based on personal experience and the results from a wide-ranging survey, this volume should be in the hands of every missionary care provider, every sending church, and every newbie on the mission field. It’s that good. Pay special attention to the part of this post that talks about bulk orders.



Conflict on the mission field is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be debilitating. Amy Young just posted a new article on her brainchild project, Global Trellis. You know someone who needs to read this! While you’re there, check out the growing list of resources that Global Trellis is amassing. You should make sure your missionary friends know about this unique resource.


Missionaries enjoy and benefit from the cheerleaders in their life. Ideally, fellow teammates on the field should be among them. Monica challenges us to think about the importance of peer-to-peer encouragement in this post.


A sense of connection is vitally important to global workers, but not always easy to come by. Spring Davis shares about the Velvet Ashes connection groups about to be launched for female field workers. Who do you need to tell about these?


Trauma comes in many forms, and it comes far too often for many missionaries. Who can help them? How can you help them? C. Anderson offers some good suggestions for you and your missionary friends. Start your own list of trauma resources so that, when trauma strikes, you will be prepared to respond in a timely way.


Laughter is the best medicine, no matter where in the world you are. Besides inducing laughter himself, Jerry Jones explains why it is so therapeutic. And he includes some things that should help get that ball rolling for those you know and love out there in the hard places.



Where is home? What is home? TCKs wrestle with these questions all the time. Want an inside track on their thoughts? Caroline Swartz can get you started. Learn how to ask the MKs/TCKs you interact with how they answer these questions. Their answers will help you know how to come alongside them in meaningful ways.



Last chance! Registration for the PTM (Pastoral Training in Membercare) conference will close on September 10. If you hurry, you can still get a discount before September 1. This early October event is an unparalleled opportunity to interact with other care providers at every level of expertise and experience. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about missionary care, this is the place to be. And if you’ve been providing care already, this is the place to be cared for and refreshed.


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 of 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.”


Marriage counseling is not just for couples who are experiencing problems. Any marriage can be enriched and revitalized through a good marriage retreat, like the one offered by Alongside. Coming up September 30-October 4. Who could you bless with the gift of this event?



OK, so here’s a disclaimer right off the bat. I have not listened to this interview yet, so I am not endorsing it. But I think it may have some interesting things to consider that can be applied to your care for missionaries. (I will listen to it soon.) I do believe that being heard is the first step toward healing, and your role in listening cannot be overstated. Give a listen—then let me know what you thought of Sheridan’s thoughts. How might you apply them in your missionary care?


As always, thank you for caring for the sent ones God has place in your path. I am quite sure they are grateful for any way in which you interact with them.


New on my bookshelf:

  • Love Well: Living Life Unrehearsed and Unstuck, by Jamie George
  • Innovation in Mission, by Jim Reapsome and Jon Hirst


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


Up next:

  • Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller