Casual Spring Friday
Looks like spring has arrived. You can tell because the weather forecast is only good for 15 minutes at a time. Unlike the needs that missionaries have for your involvement; that’s always required. Equip yourself with resources like these so you can be a strategic part of their ministry.
RISK ASSESSMENT & MANAGEMENT
“You have to manage risk, before it manages you.” Here is a 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 the Minneapolis area.
What are the worst questions one could ask during a support appointment? Steve Shadrach knows. If you know anyone raising support, you might want to forward this article to them.
During this time of year, missionaries all over the world are preparing for upcoming home assignments (sometimes known as furloughs). In this podcast, Jeff Jackson talks about the role that sending churches should have during that time.
Missionary attrition is difficult to assess. While the numbers may be fairly accessible, the reasons behind those numbers are less clear. That creates a gap between our opinions and reality.
Are we truly living out long-lasting trends?
Craig Thompson addresses that gap by looking back at a researcher in the 1930s who attempted to determine the average length of service for overseas workers. Be sure and read Craig’s earlier post on this subject, and keep an eye out for his next installment.
Ever heard of a missionary nurture team? (Some refer to them as advocate teams or Barnabas teams.) Jeff Jackson, over at Shepherd’s Staff, has compiled a great overview of what such a team should look like. Might be useful to you and your church. Note that Shepherd’s Staff offers a series of workshops on this topic.
Similar to the workshops offered by Shepherd’s Staff is the Caring For Those Who Serve seminar from Interaction International. Contact them about hosting it at your church.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
Courage is required for life on the mission field. But sometimes field workers may question if they have what it takes. Julie Martinez has some encouraging words for anyone you know in that condition.
How does one know if it’s time to leave the field? The answer is not always simple, as Amy Medina admits in this post. Some challenging thoughts here. Know anyone wrestling with this decision?
Stewardship of self is a requirement for thriving on the mission field. Caring for one’s body is a huge component of self-care—but it can be challenging in a foreign environment. In this post, Aimee explores the tension between wanting to fit it and wanting to stay healthy.
What is the most painful aspect of being a TCK? Tanya Crossman thinks it is the lack of being understood. She wrote a whole book on the subject. In this post she explains the fear commonly shared by the people we refer to as Missionary Kids or Third Culture Kids and what we can do about it.
Want to hear how it feels to be a TCK? Listen to this beautiful, haunting song by Hadassah Grace, herself a TCK.
Preparing for home assignment is important. Ruthie offers some very practical advice on how to do that in this piece. Share this with anyone you know who is planning on re-entering their sending country in the near future.
What could be more peaceful than a cabin in the Rocky Mountains? Shekinah Ranch just announced the opening of their first cabin, available for those who want to get “away from the battle, alone with the Lord.” Who would you like to send?
Eden Ridge is “a missionary-focused retreat and vacation destination” in eastern Tennessee—another excellent option for some R&R. Cabins can accommodate from one to six people for up to 14 days. Bless someone with the gift of a week at this beautiful getaway
Also located in eastern Tennessee is Fairhaven Ministries. With a variety of accommodations, gorgeous scenery, and available counseling, this may by a good place to send your favorite missionary for a personal retreat.
Prefer the prairie to mountains? Buffalo Ridge might interest you. Located in northeast Kansas, this ministry offers personal and group retreats. Wildlife—including buffalo—are part of the scenery. You could sponsor a missionary’s getaway at these low rates. (Did I mention that they have buffalo?)
Are you working with someone in the early stages of determining their calling? The Journey Deepens offers a weekend retreat designed to help people discern their next step. You might want to consider attending along with the person you are mentoring. Coming up in September, in Indianapolis.
Interaction International will be hosting a transition seminar for MKs/TCKs who will be re-entering the U.S. this summer. July 20-26 in Colorado Springs. You should consider sponsoring someone for this event. Research has shown that re-entry events are the most helpful resource available to young people transitioning back into their passport culture.
BUMP IT UP A NOTCH
Have you sensed that maybe God wants you more directly involved in missionary care? Say, as a career, perhaps? Then you’ll want to take a look at this opportunity at Global Fellowship.
That’s it for this week. I hope you have some nice weather to enjoy this weekend, and that God will continue to direct you in serving the missionaries he has brought into your life.
New on my bookshelf:
- The Gift of Wonder, by Christine Aroney-Sine
- Working From a Place of Rest, by Tony Horsfall
- Mentoring for Spiritual Growth, by Tony Horsfall
- Tables in the Wilderness, by Preston Yancey
What I’m reading this week:
- Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith
- The Fellowship of the Ring, by JRR Tolkein
- Dying Well, by John Wyatt
- Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
Recently finished reading:
- Finish First, by Scott Hamilton
- Healing the Wounds of Trauma: How the Church Can Help, by Hill, Hill, Bagge, & Miersma
- Invitation to Retreat, by Ruth Haley Barton
- The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown