Casual Valentine’s Week Friday

Feb 15, 2019 | Blog, Casual Friday

Seems like everyone is talking about love this week. Is there some holiday going on? Anyway, it’s a good week to be loving on missionaries, as is every week. You don’t need candy or flowers (but hey, no one said you can’t), but these resources will enable you to show how much you really care about the sent ones that God has placed in your life.



Grace Ministries International has published a helpful brochure on how to nurture and support your missionaries. It’s a free download to help you and the other missionary advocates in your church understand, encourage, and strengthen those they send out.


This article by veteran missionary and adult TCK Marilyn Gardner will provide all kinds of insight into the lives of the sent ones you care for. How might you be able to walk alongside those who are struggling with loss?


You’ll have to hurry to take advantage of this. William Carey Publishing is offering a substantial discount on all its member care books. You must order before the end of the day tomorrow (17 February) and enter the coupon code MEMBERCARE25.


Want to understand what mission life is like for singles? Want to know how you can more effectively encourage and care for them? Listen to this podcast from Upstream, where Dan and Tabitha (both singles) share their experiences in missions.


With recent concerns about the security of WhatsApp, some missionaries have migrated to Signal. You might want to poke around and see if it’s something you should use for communicating with your sent ones who work in sensitive areas.


Is your church prepared to send well? The folks at Upstream Collective want to help. They are offering this sending responsibilities checklist that you can download for free. Create a plan for caring pre-field, on-field, and post field.


If you haven’t been to Crosswired recently you should visit soon. They offer a growing list of courses and materials for missionaries and missionary advocates. You may want to consider joining their very affordable monthly service (only $7 per month).


Want to learn how to conduct a personal debriefing? Veteran debriefers George and Connie Blake will be hosting a training seminar in December (scroll to the bottom of the page). If you are interested, I suggest you look into this as soon as possible. These tend to be very popular events that fill up quickly, and there are very few opportunities.



What’s the most effective way to engage in monthly support fundraising and financial partnership? Tailored Fundraising asks the question – and answers it.


Tailored Fundraising is also offering this free e-book titled Fundraising: How to Get a Generous Response (Almost) Every Time You Ask. You might forward this link to those you know who are in the beginning stages of raising support.


Know someone who would like to double their return on fundraising efforts? (Who wouldn’t, right?) Let them know about this Fundly article about matching gifts.



What is the most courageous self-care act? Shelly Tygielski wants you to know. (Brene Brown agrees.)Though written for a secular audience, her thoughts apply equally well to the mission field. Perhaps even better. You could offer to be the confidant she mentions.


We are all prone to do it. We are none of us immune. It is so easy to get sucked into this way of thinking, and the results are never healthy.

When we start trying to measure who has it easier or harder we miss an incredible gift.

Heather Fallis has some wise words that your friends on the mission field might need to hear.


POMs (Parents of Missionaries)

It takes courage and faith to leave one’s home, family, and all that’s familiar to minister in a foreign. It takes just as much courage and faith to allow one’s children to do it. Kelly Delp wants to help you understand what that’s like for some parents.



Want to equip yourself to care well for the missionaries you know who will be returning soon from the field? Check out these resources from Emmaus Road International. You’ll find books and videos that will inform you and prepare you to receive them in the best possible way.


Here is a handy workbook for families preparing to move overseas. It includes activities, Bible verses, and other important information to ease the transition.



Marriages take a hit on the mission field. While every couple would benefit from periodic marriage retreats, missionary couples don’t often avail themselves during their all-too-short home assignments. Well here’s one that might fit their schedule and their budget. WinShape Marriage is designed for “couples who have served two years of consecutive missionary ministry within the last three years.” The next event is April 22-26 at their beautiful facility in northern Georgia, with others scheduled for May, June, and July.


For those who might be going or sending people to the mission field as marketplace workers, long-term training will not likely be an option. The folks at Upstream Collective are offering a weekend training experience designed just for such a case. March 29-30, in Louisville, KY.


Radiant Life Retreats are small group debriefing and wellness experiences “specifically designed for those who have lived cross-culturally for a year or more.” Hosted by the folks at Excelling Leaders, the next event is scheduled for February 26-March 7 at Twin Pines Manor, Lancaster County, PA. Who might you sponsor to attend this event?


Le Ruche is offering two debriefing events this summer in northern Georgia. (You can also contact them to ask about custom dates.) It is designed for people who have served five or more years on the field.


Hurry! Abba’s Tree is a new adult debriefing program being offered three times this year. Early registration discounts are available before February 15 for the April 14-19 event. Hosted at the beautiful facilities of The Hideaway Inn in Black Forest, CO by veteran debriefers George and Connie Blake. Every missionary should receive a debriefing like this when they are back in the States. Who might you sponsor for that privilege?


The 6th Asia Member Care Network Conference will be held April 29-May 3 in Penang, Malaysia, and registration is now open. The theme this year is Member Care in an Age of Accelerated Change. A great opportunity in a beautiful location. Who could you take with you?


The ReBoot MK re-entry programs for 2019 are now open for registration. These are for Canadians and are hosted in Canada. Know anyone who might be interested?


Barnabas Zentrum has posted their schedule of debriefing opportunities for 2019, beginning this month. If you know anyone who is returning to the U.S. in the near future, you might want to direct them to this site. Early registration is advised. Maybe you could cover the cost for someone? While you’re visiting their site, check out the other services they offer to cross-cultural workers.


The folks at Thrive have opened registration for their July, 2019 women’s retreat in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Who could you host for the exceptional deal? Want to volunteer to help at the retreat? There’s opportunity for that, too (scroll down a bit on the page).


It’s not too soon to begin thinking about the Traction men’s conference coming up in September. Hosted by Catalyst, International, this six-day experience is “designed to encourage global workers who serve in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.”



Any chance you could be the person Avant is looking for?


Why do we so often contradict ourselves and confound each other? Krista Tippett interviewed Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, to seek an answer to this question. The transcript is worth the time it takes to read. How might this affect the way you interact with the missionaries you seek to care for?


Treating people like people. That’s what missionary care is all about. Sometimes, however, sent ones are treated that strategic pawns, cogs in a ministry machine. That is not at all the way the Father views them. They are not expendable for “the cause.” Here is a thought-provoking piece from the business world. See if you can’t recognize some parallel problems in the world of missions—problems which underscore the need for proper care. By the way, I would love to hear your thoughts on this after you read it.


However you choose to express your loving concern, may the Lord use you mightily in some missionary’s life this week.


New on my bookshelf:

  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink
  • The Lost World of Genesis One, by John Walton
  • True You: Letting go of your false self to uncover the person God created, by Michelle DeRusha
  • Take Care of Yourself: Survive and thrive in Christian ministry, by Pablo Martinez
  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization, by Peter Senge

What I’m reading this week:

  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel

Recently finished reading:

  • Winter, a Spiritual Biography, by Gary Schmidt, ed.
  • The Right Story, by Bernadette Jiwa
  • Arriving Well, by Cate Brubaker et al
  • Sojourner’s Workbook: A Guide to Thriving Cross-culturally, by Connie Befus
  • Dragging Baggage: A Guide for Those Struggling on the Mission Field, by Alice Young
  • Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan

Up next:

  • The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith