Casual Storm Season Friday
Tornadoes in the South. Severe thunderstorms in the Midwest. And (more) blizzards up north. Spring is anything but subtle, and every season has its good and bad. Just like life on the mission field. Storms can hit at any time: emotional, spiritual, relational… Help your friends weather their storms by gearing up with resources like these.
RISK ASSESSMENT & MANAGEMENT
Crisis Consulting International is offering a field security seminar for those who work in “higher risk environments.” June 19-22 in Lake George, Colorado. They only have room for 21 participants, so don’t wait too long to decide to register.
Stay well informed about the risk assessment of countries around the world with this U.S. State Department travel advisory. Some of the countries mentioned may surprise you.
Here’s a great list of resources for women in ministry and missionaries in general. You’ll want it for yourself, and you’ll want to share it with the global workers you know.
There are few things more valuable to a missionary than a “safe place”—someone with whom they can share their deepest concerns. Kristen Strong talks about how you can be that place.
Know anyone who would benefit from a psychiatric evaluation or consultation in relation to their mission work? Godspeed Resources (GRC) has recently expanded its psychiatric department and offers secure sessions online.
LIFE ON THE FIELD
Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal presented a TED talk on how to make stress your friend. You read that right. Since stress levels are usually higher for those in cross-cultural ministry, they would greatly benefit from what Kelly has to say. You should know about it, too, so you can encourage your missionary friends to take appropriate action.
Sabbath is vital to longevity on the mission field. In this podcast, Gwen Smith from Potter’s Inn introduces her four pillars of Sabbath, why God gave us Sabbath, and why we feel so much guilt about it. Pass it around.
Ever heard of a minimal viable day? Missionary Anisha Hopkins wants to introduce you to the concept. It’s what helped her stop thinking of herself as a constant failure. Good thoughts for everyone you know on the mission field.
What compels people to be on the mission field? Sometimes it’s easy to forget, as Kristy Wacek asserts in this piece.
We forget why we are where we are.
The challenges are tough. The sacrifices are real. There’s really only one thing that can keep someone on the field.
Mmmhmm, I’m gonna stop you right there. How would you feel if you were in the middle of a counseling session and your counselor said that? Imagine how Monica felt after detailing her activities as a missionary for 15 years. Monica’s story has parallels in the lives of so very many global workers. The ones you know would benefit from what she has to say in this post.
And now for a ticklish topic: retirement. Amy Young wants to start a conversation about this…whether people have plans. Could you forward this to any missionaries you know who would be willing to participate?
Furlough season is about to begin. Thousands of field workers will return to the United States within the next couple of months. Are you ready to receive them? Are they prepared for the transition? The folks at Shepherd’s Staff have compiled a list of blog posts related to the subject that you’ll want to peruse and pass on to the missionaries you know.
Speaking of furloughs—Helen Watts talks about the various aspects of a typical transition.
If you don’t acknowledge your endings, it is hard to move on to new beginnings.
Good overview on the subject, with a link to a great book about transitions.
Resilience is the buzz word these days in missionary care. How can missionaries develop sustainable lifestyles and ministry habits? The folks at CIT (Center for Intercultural Training) are offering a 2 week online course that your missionary friends can take either next week (April 24-May 8) or later this summer (August 28-September 11).
The annual virtual retreat hosted by Velvet Ashes begins on April 26. You can give someone the gift of attending (or maybe several someones) through this link. The women we know who have attended previous VA retreats have all raved about them.
Early bird discount pricing for this MK re-entry event ends on May 1, so check out Wilderness Reboot now. Beautiful venue in Alberta, Canada.
Want to learn how to debrief missionaries? The More Network is sponsoring Debriefing 101, a chance for you to trained in this vital procedure. To be held in Manitoba, Canada. Early bird discounts are still available until April 30.
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. Two events to choose from: May 20-24, and September 30-October 4. Who could you bless with the gift of this event?
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
Think you’re a good listener? Ready for a challenge? Ann White’s essay on the subject will give you pause—and hopefully some good ideas as well for you you can improve your listening skills. Read it if you dare.
Everyone has their own storms to deal with. Thanks for taking time away from yours to help those who are serving in stormy places.
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:
- This Is Marketing, by Seth Godin
- Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith
- Dying Well, by John Wyatt
- Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
- The Two Towers, by JRR Tolkien
Recently finished reading:
- The Fellowship of the Ring, by JRR Tolkien
- Building a Storybrand, by Donald Miller
- The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
- 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