Casual Summer Friday

Jun 1, 2018 | Blog, Casual Friday

Did you happen to see the report on the actual number of lives lost in Puerto Rico during last year’s hurricane?  (In case you didn’t, it was more than 7 times higher than originally reported.) Shocking news, to be sure. Would you be shocked to learn that, every year, more than 6000 missionaries quit? And that 75% of them were likely for preventable reasons? That’s why you and I are such a vital part of God’s plan to care for his sent-ones. Equip yourself to care well with resources like these.



What are good motivations for serving in cross-cultural work? What reasons are not so good? Wesley Mills, with TEAM, offers six reasons why you should not go overseas. Good missionary care begins long before they ever get to the field. This article will help you get a great start.



Believe it or not, for some global workers, life on the mission field can become a boring routine. Some things which were expected never come to pass. And some things, which were never expected, become inescapable reality.

Perhaps monotony was a door to the supernatural kingdom.

This article explores the potential in things that do not turn out the way we envisioned them. Know anyone in that category that you can share this with?


Returning stronger than before. That’s Jenilee Goodwin’s description of the way she’s changed as a result of her time on home assignment. Perhaps you know someone who would benefit from her thoughts.


Well-timed pauses. That’s what Ruth Haley Barton calls it when we “turn aside to see a burning bush.” Though written with leaders in mind, every missionary you know would benefit from Ruth’s thoughts. Make sure they get a copy.


What does it take to stay on the field long term? What is it like to transition from a short-term commitment to indefinite? Many global workers will be faced with the decision to stick around or to call it a day. Emily Smith shares how her opinion was swayed.



In this interview with Dr. Ann Hampton (author of Facing Danger: A Guide through Risk), Craig Thompson shares some vital information regarding how to face risk with courage and resilience. After you read this, you should order the book.



Kimberly Kolb reflects on the reality that you can’t go home again. True for all of us, but particularly applicable for cross-cultural workers. You need to understand why, and Kimberly can help.


How can you ensure that transitions are handled in a way that honors God and everyone involved? This edition of Postings from Catalyst Services will give you some really helpful guidelines.


Danielle Wheeler has put together a list of 8 practical tips for returning and furnishing your home. Before you just forward this to your friends who will be coming back soon, take a look at suggestion #8. This is something you can facilitate as a way of blessing a returning global worker.


Transition expert Jerry Jones has written a fair amount about returning well. He thinks there is already plenty of information out there about how to do that. So he decided to write about ten ways to leave poorly. This may be more instructive than all his other posts about doing it right.



I’d be willing to bet that you know a missionary family that is homeschooling their kids. That can be challenging on the field. Elizabeth Trotter knows, and she’s offered a batch of really helpful ideas that will help them deal with their isolation and work alone.


What does it mean to a third culture kid to return “home”? To return to their passport country that isn’t really home to them? Brianna Langley will tell you in this second in her series on returning.



Coming up in September: Orient, hosted by Train International. “This two-week pre-departure training aims to equip people headed overseas with skills to help them navigate transition, stress, culture shock, and relationships who they can be more prepared and stay effective in whatever surroundings they find themselves.”


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.


“Will you or any global women you know be Stateside this summer? Would a few days of worship, prayer, Biblical teaching, pampering, rest, and fellowship with other women in an idyllic mountain setting be a blessing to your life?” Then you should know about the 2018 Colorado Retreat to be hosted by Thrive July 10-13. Space is limited, so register soon.


The folks at Interaction International are offering a transition seminar for TCKs returning to the U.S. It will be held in Colorado Springs, CO from July 21 through July 27.


Barnabas International will be hosting Interlude, a debriefing retreat, July 24-27 in Indianapolis, IN. A chance to share your story and reflect on God’s work in your life. More information and registration are here.


Registration is now open for the Thrive retreat to be held in the Philippines October 29-November 1. 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.



Jerry Jones talked about how missionaries could return poorly. Josie Oldenburg talks about how to receive them poorly. Be wary of these six common pitfalls when you welcome your sent ones back.



What to know another shocker? The greatest untapped resource for missionary care is the local church. May your passion for caring be infectious.


New on my bookshelf:

  • 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:

  • The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, George Long trans.
  • How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth, by Gordon Fee
  • Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero
  • Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert

Just finished reading:

  • Imagination Redeemed: Glorifying God with a neglected part of your mind, by Gene Edward Veith and Matthew Ristuccia
  • Scripture and Cosmology, by Dr. Kyle Greenwood
  • When God Gives Dreams, by Kelly Langston
  • Out of Context: How to avoid misinterpreting the Bible, by Richard Schultz
  • Democratizing Innovation, by Eric Von Hippel
  • Building a Culture of Innovation, by Cris Beswick et al

Up next:

  • The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns