Merry Casual Friday

Dec 13, 2019 | Blog, Casual Friday

It’s that time of year again – the season of gifting. Have you ever considered giving a missionary something special for Christmas (rather than money)? You could, for instance, buy a book or enroll in a class about missionary care; your gift would be the increased level of care you would be able to provide. Or how about paying their way to a retreat, conference, or debriefing? You could contribute to the wellbeing of an MK by gifting them with a re-entry experience. Now that I’ve started you think I’m sure you can come up with even more ways you could let your missionary friends know you care about them this Christmas.



How much do you understand what it means to “count the cost” when it comes to a missionary’s life? Denise Beck may just have a few new insights that will enrich your prayer life. How might you be able to come alongside global workers who have left so much behind?



Don’t be that guy! That’s how Jerry Jones, expert on all things expat, admonishes male global workers. What’s that all about, you ask? Well, read Jerry’s latest post and find out. You’ll find plenty of solid advice between his trademark bits of wit.


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… That classic line from Dickens could be used to describe a missionary’s first Christmas abroad. Maria Mullet shares about her experience, and how God helped her feel at home. Send this to anyone you know who will be experiencing their first Christmas in a new country.


Special seasons like Christmas can really draw a missionary’s attention to all they have left behind. And that can be painful. Karen Huber knows—and she knows how Jesus takes the edge off of homesickness.

Jesus of no-fixed-abode holds my future and invites me to root in him.

I bet you know at least one global worker who would benefit from reading this post.


I know I mention sleep quite often in these posts, and that’s for good reason. Most of us don’t get an adequate amount of sleep, and global workers are often among the most sleep deprived. Here is yet another reason why shuteye is so vital to physical and mental health.


Even more important than adequate sleep is regular Sabbath. Davey Blackburn offers his thoughts on how he avoids burnout, depression, and anxiety through this keystone habit. Read this and see if you resonate with his experience. Who do you know on the mission field who might also appreciate this?



Wrestling season? I thought it was Christmas season. It can actually be both. I’ll let Jerry Jones explain. Decision-making can be a difficult, emotion-laden, confusing…well, wrestling match, and this is the time of year many global workers find themselves having to decide whether the new year will find them on the field. Jerry’s insights will give you plenty of prayer points.



When it comes to issues related to raising MKs, Adult TCK and parent of her own TCKs, Marilyn Gardner, knows her subject matter.

Shallow roots are tender, they need care as they are being transplanted.

In this post she suggests some ways in which parents can provide the kind of care that tender roots require when transitioning. Share this with the missionary parents you know.


Many of us are familiar with the “serenity prayer.” It may even be a regular for you. In this piece Becky Comer, mother of a missionary, shares how God uses that prayer to help her cope.

So, do I still fret and miss them like crazy? Oh my goodness, YES!

You may want to pass this along to stateside parents who are separated from their mission field children this Christmas.



If you are involved with someone who is considering overseas service, Anisha Hopkinson has a humorous (but still serious) survey to help them decide if they are cut out for missionary work. Enjoy it together.



It’s not too early to start thinking about re-entry programs for MKs—like Reboot. They have limited space for their program next summer, so early registration is encouraged. Who could you sponsor?


Debriefing is one of the best things a missionary can do for themselves while going through a transition. The folks at Barnabas, International will be hosting three opportunities in 2020. Interlude will be held in January, June, and July. Check here for more information. You may want to begin planning now to send your favorite missionary to one of these—your gift to them.


The 7th annual SE regional MK retreat, hosted by Compass Ministries, is scheduled for February 14-16. Register or get more information here.


You might want to look into this soon for the m’s you know working in southeast Asia. Field Life will be hosting a Momentum Men’s Conference on Borneo if March of 2020. Looks like a great opportunity for you to bless someone with a soul-refreshing getaway.


A special getaway for a limited number of U.S. and Canadian women who live and work cross-culturally: Thrive retreat in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Now open for registration. Who could you send?


This looks like a phenomenal opportunity to gain an overall education in missionary care. Frontiers will be conducting a five-day conference next April called CareCon, “designed for pastors, church staff, family members, ministry partners, and anyone who wants to support global workers.” I want to go!


Who do you know working in Europe or South America? Who would you like to bless beyond belief with the gift of retreat? The folks at Thrive know how to provide spiritual, motional, and physical care to field workers, and there are three upcoming retreats you should know about: one in Estonia, in October one in Croatia, in February of 2020; and one in Brazil, in April of 2020. You could pay someone’s way. Or—check this out: You could be a volunteer at one of these retreats and bless many people! Get the details here.


Your loving care for global workers is a gift that no amount of money can buy. Thank you for making yourself available to the Lord to be an expression of his heart toward those he has sent out for the sake of his name.


New on my bookshelf:

  • The Mind of a Missionary: What Global Kingdom Workers Tell Us About Thriving on Mission Today, by David Joannes
  • The God Who Gives: How the Trinity Shapes the Christian Story, by Kelly Kapic
  • Homeward Bound: A spouse’s guide to repatriation, by Robin Pascoe


What I’m reading this week:

  • Mansions of the Heart: Exploring the seven stages of spiritual growth, by R. Thomas Ashbrook
  • Serving Well, by Elizabeth & Jonathan Trotter
  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith


Recently finished reading:

  • Autumn: A spiritual biography of the season, Gay Schmidt, ed.
  • Souvenirs and Solitude, by Brennan Manning
  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel


Up next:

  • Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller