Casual Pumpkin Spice Friday

Sep 14, 2018 | Blog, Casual Friday

Pumpkin Spice. We are in the season of pumpkin spice everything. Even those of us who enjoy the flavor can feel like the food industry has gone way too far in putting it in anything and everything edible. There can indeed be too much of a good thing. Except when you’re talking about missionary care. I can’t imagine there ever being too much of that. So here’s your latest batch of resources to help you spice up your missionary care efforts.



This hot topic deserves a category of its own. Many are currently engaged in studying the concept and researching various applications of it. For an appetizer, here is a brief article in the Aotearoal New Zealand Missions Interlink Bulletin about what resilience means from the perspective of a field worker.



Bad things happen to good people. We all know that. Bad things happen on the mission field; most of us know that, too. What we may not realize is that, over time, the losses that missionaries face can lead to cynicism that can spiral out of control. Though not written specifically to cross-cultural workers, Carey Nieuwhof’s post certainly applies to them. Your understanding of this topic will enhance your effectiveness in caring for your missionary friends.



Tune in to find out how to navigate the delicate waters of raising support and a family from a foreign or closed country.


How does a missionary gain and sustain support once they are on the field? This post from Missionary Life offers some helpful ideas. Who do you know who would benefit from this?




What is a window of tolerance, and how does it relate to third culture kids? I’m glad you asked. Dr. Rachel Cason, a third culture person herself, explains in this post. This is useful information for any of you who interact with TCKs, and of particular value when you pass it on to them.




Know any women working near Uganda or Cyprus who could use a refreshing break? An Azmera retreat may be just the ticket. You can even volunteer to help. Or perhaps you would like to contribute toward a scholarship for someone who might not be able to attend otherwise. Get all the details here.


There are a couple annual gatherings of care providers that you may want to consider attending. They are great opportunities to build upon your skill set and develop a network of like-minded people for the enhancement of your ministry to missionaries. The CareGivers Forum is one event. It will be held October 21-24 at the Green Lake Conference Center in Wisconsin. The other event is PTM: Pastoral Training in MemberCare, to be held at the Ridgecrest Conference Center in Asheville, NC October 2-5. If you live in the area and cannot attend the whole event, you may want to consider coming to the pre-conference workshop to be led by Neal Pirolo. His topic will be “developing and building a church-based member care plan.” Still time to register, but not much.


Registration is now open for the Thrive retreat to be held in Ghana April 29-May 2, 2019. Did you know that you could apply to be a volunteer to help facilitate Thrive retreats? You can find more information for attendee and volunteers here.



Here is a listing of the countries with the highest suicide rates. This could be important information for you as you come alongside those who work in these countries. The factors that contribute to these statistics will affect missionaries as well.


In this piece Patty promotes remembering as a spiritual discipline. The folks at Velvet Ashes want to facilitate that for women on the field. You can connect the women you know with this resource (and the many others they offer).


The call to listen. That’s the theme of this chapel message by Gerry Schoberg. Our skill in listening to others is directly related to our practice of listening to God. Hone your skills by listening to this.


Permission to share, and permission to care. That’s what Amber Taube says we all need, and I believe she is spot on. As a person who offers care to global workers, make sure they know that they have permission to speak freely. As for the permission to care…well, you’ll have to read Amber’s article to learn more about that.


On a similar note, Craig Thompson notes the importance of having someone with whom you can be honest about mental health issues. Missionaries need friends like you.




Scott Shaum, a shepherd of missionary shepherds, penned this challenging reminder of what our work as missionary care providers is all about.

Do not throw people back on themselves.

This is a core principle that we should revisited routinely.


A while back I posted a link about a survey conducted by Andrea Sears on missionary attrition. More than 750 missionaries responded to her queries about the preventable reasons people leave the field. Now, after having time to analyze her data more thoroughly, Andrea has launched a series of posts unpacking her findings.

This is one of the most exciting and useful piece of news to hit the missionary care world in many years.

I have to admit, I can’t wait to see all that she has uncovered, and to begin incorporating her findings into our work at Paracletos. How do you see this survey helping you?


Want to get an advanced perspective on missionary care issues? Are you looking for a place to network with professional care providers? Mental Health and Missions may be for you. Hosted by Barnabas International and held in northeastern Indiana, registration is now open for this November 15-18 event. Early registration discount expires at the end of September.



May your involvement in the lives of missionaries be sweet to them.



New on my bookshelf:

  • Souvenirs of Solitude, by Brennan Manning
  • Desired by God, by Van Moody
  • Dying Well, by John Wyatt
  • Gen Z: The culture, beliefs, and motivations shaping the next generation, by Barna
  • Insurgence, by Frank Viola
  • Sojourner’s Workbook: A guide to thriving cross-culturally, by Connie Befus
  • Christianity at the Crossroads: How the second century shaped the future of the church, by Michael Kruger
  • Innovation in Mission: Insights into practical innovations creating kingdom impact, by Jim Reapsome and Jon Hirst

What I’m reading this week:

  • Autumn: A Spiritual Biography, Schmidt & Felch, eds.
  • The Garlic Ballads, by Mo Yan
  • Inspired: Slaying giants, walking on water, and loving the Bible again, by Rachel Evans
  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
  • The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, George Long trans.
  • How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth, by Gordon Fee
  • Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert

Recently finished reading:

  • 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

Up next:

  • The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
  • Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan
  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith