First Casual Friday of Autumn

Sep 28, 2018 | Blog, Casual Friday

Well, we are officially now in autumn in North America. This time of year for us is characterized by unpredictability and erratic swings. Not totally unlike life on the mission field. Thankfully some things remain constant—like the love and grace of God. And hopefully your ongoing concern for the wellbeing of global workers. Equip yourself with resources like these.



Neal and Anna Hampton have compiled a list of resources for parents who are raising children in high-risk areas. Tons of really good material here. Read these for your own education, then make sure to share them with your friends who are dealing with this challenge.



Sometimes you need to see God’s fingerprints. That’s Kaitlyn Bouchillon’s message in this post. When things look discouraging; when God seems tardy; when it’s tempting to think he’s abandoned you, look for his fingerprints.


Sometimes one’s ability to cope with cultural differences is simply a matter of perspective. C.K. writes about the practice of staring in her host culture and makes a surprising suggestion.


Jennifer Ueckert offers this reminder of what’s important when everything seems to be falling apart. (And isn’t that far too often on the mission field?)


Life for mothers of little ones on the mission field can be challenging, to say the least. Often they may find themselves feeling like Ruth in this post. Maybe you could encourage someone you know by sending them this link.


So here’s a delicate topic: family planning on the mission field. This post doesn’t get into the logistics. Instead Krista Horn talks about the paradoxes involved in allowing God to be the ultimate family planner.


Nancy Mauger challenges the normal American perspective on productivity with this excellent piece on community.

How would your life change if you looked at productive activity in more of a relational than a task-oriented way?

How might you help your friends on the mission field foster a relational perspective?




Everyone has a story—and every one matters. TCKs may have more trouble than others believing that their story is important.

We can become consumed by the incoherence of our stories.

Dr. Rachel Cason explains why the MK/TCKs you know need to understand the value of their stories.


Dr. Cason also posted this great explanation of why it is important for TCKs (and everyone, really) to be able to tell their story.

Many of us have painful experiences of feeling misunderstood.

You can be a person with whom a TCK would love to share.


The next ABIDE re-entry program will be offered by Train International October 16-21. Who do you know that should attend, maybe even pay their way?


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.


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.



Many of us have the privilege of functioning as shepherds to global workers. Such work involves challenges and opportunities beyond everyday encouragement. Scott Shaum makes the case for shepherds who are skilled at helping others go deeper in their relationship with Jesus.


Craig Thompson tells a story about an incident during home assignment that will leave you…well, I’ll let you read it. In conclusion he sums up the kind of friends that missionaries need when they are back in their passport country, trying to navigate yet another transition. You can be one of these friends.


Educate yourself, encourage your friends—and keep an eye out for others that you might be able to nurture in the fine art of missionary care. You can start by telling them about Casual Friday.



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.
  • 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:

  • The Garlic Ballads, by Mo Yan
  • 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