2012 April, 23-27 - Global Member Care Network Conference in Chiangmai, Thailand. More detailed info will be posted in March 2011.
Welcome to the Global Member Care Network Newsletter.
Reflections on the Lausanne Congress
By Dr. Brent Lindquist - Link Care Center, Fresno, California, USA
It was very interesting to attend the Lausanne Congress from the perspective of a non-full-time evangelist. I relished the opportunity to celebrate with everyone the Good News, participate in Bible study, prayer times, worship, and make many new friends. I was delightfully caught up in the evangelism mandate and thought a lot about my role as a mental health person and evangelism. I found the more I relished the call to evangelism, the more I found myself feeling uncomfortable about some of my professional stances. It could be argued that I think way too much about this stuff. At least that is what my mental health or member care colleagues tell me when I raise these issues. But then, many people tell me I think a lot about things that not a lot of people think about. Thinking opens me to God and His ability to sort things out. The reflections below and my conclusions with how I think member care helps the global church in its evangelistic endeavors will reveal that I’m still wrestling with these issues.
I think we, Member Care Providers, are great come-along-besiders, if you will. As counselors, encouragers, listeners, we help people talk through the various issues that are confronting, bothering, or hurting them. We can also be general advocates for positive, life-enhancing decisions for life and ministry. Sometimes we can help people think through the consequences of their actions and perhaps help them avoid dire serious impacts of some of those actions. This forecasting ability can be a useful asset when one considers and counts the call and cost.
However, I struggle a bit with the power I take and I am given as a “professional,” and I worry, actually, that I abuse that power. Who am I to stand in front of someone and lecture them about their life choices when they feel they are of God? Certainly, we don’t always know if our desires are of God, but sometimes I’m amazed at how prophetic (in a bad way!) I can be simply by quoting the latest research or the common sense approach to protectiveness and care. I don’t have an answer for this except to realize I need to be cautious in how I help people who truly feel led to do things that might be problematic. How can I help them have the right supports and people speaking truth into their lives? Is there a way for me to help them confirm their desires are from God?
I have to ask myself in what way am I a hindrance to the global evangelistic effort. In addition to some of the concepts I mentioned above, it seems easy for me to take approaches that, whether I want them to or not, come across as arrogant. On one level, I’m not so sure anymore that I can always be counted on to do the right thing in the right way for the right purpose at the right time with the right results. When I was younger, I was much more confident that I could do that, but now that I’m older I am much less sure of myself and much more wary that my training and experience may cause me to fall into predictable stances and become more like Job’s friends.
Below are some troubling questions I have been dealing with in the midst of jet lag and getting back up to speed with many things happening at home. I’m not especially hopeful that there are easy answers to these questions. I hope by sharing my questions, there might be continuing thought and dialogue with you who are actually out there reading this.
1. I come from the world of the “haves” and I am trying earnestly to help those who are of the “have not” world. It is simply impossible to consider providing to the truly “have-nots” the kind of resources and delivery systems and theoretical formulations I use without even thinking. What are the basic foundational concepts that are autonomous or independent from technology, training, staffing, faculty, you name it, which allow the church to be unfettered and its evangelistic efforts rich in its healing process?
2. I think there are significant perspective differences between health and healing versus recovering. When push comes to shove, I doubt any of us completely recover from anything. By recovering, I mean that whatever happened to us completely disappears from our emotional landscape. And yet I think, especially in the Western world, many of us go around acting as if this is a possibility. Our healing methods need to coordinate with the fact that suffering is a daily and permanent occurrence for many of the people we are working with, or the people they work with. A triumphalism position towards healing and recovery can create many problems. People begin a recovery process, and in that recovery process, they are always recovering not recovered. At least that’s my humble opinion. How can we acknowledge this as core in our efforts?
3. Though I’m often asked to help, I need to be more careful to learn how I can help. It is so easy to run in with solutions that may not address the problems as they perceive them. As the Scripture says, there is a time and a season for everything. I need to know when is the right time to rejoice—to what degree? And I need to learn when is the right time to work and grow.
It is quite likely that some of you reading this might think I’m being very defensive or depressive or saddened. Certainly these thoughts cause me pause. But they cause me to focus on good questions and wrestle with the answers. I’m hopeful we will find the right balance to all of this. If any of these questions struck a nerve or you’re aware of other information about this please don’t hesitate to give a response. You may email me at Brentlindquist@linkcare.org.
This article was also published in Ethnê-MC Update Issue 22: November 2010, email@example.com
This months topics:
- Global Map
- Global Member Care Events
- guest house in Japan where m’s can go for rest and refreshment. Gareth and Ruth Ayling: 359-0001 Ken Saitama Chefoo Hostel, 1271-29 Shimotomi Japan GandRAyling@omf.net
India - The Family Life Center
The Family Life Center in Mahabalipuram 9 family rooms - in a beautiful palm garden - 300 yds from the beach. Very reasonable costs- although fairly basic and homely, very clean and good access to lots of interesting places.
Cornerstone House , S.U. Camp centre , Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India 603104
Managers Jacob and Rani Babu Jacobandrani@gmail.com
5. Middle East
- Are you stressed from language learning, violence, culture fatigue, or a workaholic boss?
Many have found through going on a Retreat - taking a few days out of their regular sched- ule - that God has greater opportunity to speak into these stresses and bring a measure of relief.
The Katafiyio Retreat House, situated in a quiet Cypriot village, is easily accessible to the Middle East. Here you are able to rest and listen to Gods perspective, either by yourself or with someone alongside to guide you. A Bursary Fund is available for workers in full time voluntary work who elect for a guided retreat.
For more information, open the attached flyer or look on www.cypgulf.org click on Retreats
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cross cultural marriage books
- Love Across Latitudes by Janet Fraser-Smith txt
- In Love but Worlds Apart by G. Shelling and J. Fraser-Smith txt
- Intercultural Marriage: Promises and Pitfalls by Dugan Romano txt
- Your Intercultural Marriage: A Guide to a Healthy, Happy Relationship by Marla Alupoaicei txt
cross cultural marriage - General websites
- For couples generally a website with lots of resources is www.missionarycare.com
- R.L. Koteskey, Cross-Cultural Worker Marriage Issues, online e-book http://www.crossculturalworkers.com/ebooks.htm#marriage
- South Australian gov. website for Children, Youth and Women's health services, www.cyh.com (includes a very good article on grief and loss in children) www.cyh.com
- Transworld Radio - www.membercareradio.com has lots of resources on various topics including TCKs and families. www.membercareradio.com
- International Children's Education's website - www.iched.org also has a lot of resources related to MK education. www.iched.org
- Heidi Sand-Hart, a TCK in her late 20s, Home Keeps Moving. Take a look (blogspot) http://homekeepsmoving.blogspot.com/
A Biblical View of Suffering
- The topic of Assessing and Fostering Resilience in Missionaries was the topic at a gathering of mental health workers who focus in caring for missionaries in November, 2009. Repeatedly, speakers referred to the fact that to be resilient, missionaries need to have worked out a Theology of Suffering. One of the most comprehensive outlines of Biblical teachings on suffering is in this document from Ken Williams of International Training Partners. It is set up in such a way that it can be used as a study guide, as well as a resource for missionaries and leaders--as well as a teaching tool for work within our Japanese churches. http://www.itpartners.org/Support_Files/Articles/Toward%20a%20Theology%20of%20Suffering.pdf
A monthly newsletter sent out by Dr. Tom Gray
- A monthly newsletter sent out by Dr. Tom Gray is available at: http://mynmw.wordpress.com
“This month, we explore the topic of "religious coping" and the importance of pursuing spiritual growth and health. Religious coping refers to a dy- namic search for significance in times of stress. I am very interested in how you and/or your organization nurture personal and corporate spirituality, and I hope you'll leave a com- ment at the bottom of the New Mission Wellness page.”
Link Care Jan 2011
- text http://www.globalmembercare.org/uploads/tx_wecdiscussion/Link_Care_2011_01.pdf
Member Care Network Chiang Mai Thailand
- text http://www.globalmembercare.org/uploads/tx_wecdiscussion/THE_WELL_CM_Jan_2011.pdf
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GLOBAL MEMBER CARE EVENTS
CHARIS Retreat, Malaysia, (7-10 March 2011).
- CHARIS Retreat for full-time workers, Pulai Springs, Johor, Malaysia on the theme of ‘Behold my Servant’ (7-10 March 2011).
In the lovely surroundings of this golf resort we will look at Christ’s servanthood as a pattern for our own. There will be times of reflective worship, personal quiet, accompaniment, and opportunity to relax and unwind.
Facilitators will be Tony Horsfall (Charis Training) and Debbie Hawker (Interhealth). Full details form Grace Lim (firstname.lastname@example.org).
3. AUSTRALIA OCEANIA
Conference in Sydney, plus the one evening seminar in Melbourne
- I have attached the brochure for the main Conference in Sydney, plus the one evening seminar in Melbourne. Do we need any more detail than this?
Barnabas Zentrum Singles & Couples Retreats - Austria
Barnabas Zentrum is especially designed to strengthen the lives of Christian workers who are serving in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. BZ serves as an interdenominational personal and marital counseling retreat center for pastors, missionaries and others in church and Para church staff positions. The relaxed atmosphere of Barnabas Zentrum provides a place of solitude and confidentiality in which such issues as marital crisis, stress, burnout, staff/team relations, and interpersonal or vocational conflicts, etc. may be worked through. The following is the remaining fall schedule.
For more information please check our web site at: www.bzentrum.eomweb.org
Session #1 Couples/Singles Retreat January 9-21
Session #2 Couples/Singles Retreat January 30-Feb.11 (full already)
Session #3 Couples/Singles Retreat February 20-March 4
Session #4 Couples/Singles Retreat March 13-25
Session #5 Family Retreat April 10-21
6. MIDDLE EAST
Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills, Amman, Jordan.
- Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills
Workshop in Amman, Jordan.
This is an initiative of the Jordan Member Care Network and International Training See attached flyer for details and registration instructions. Spread the word.
March 3-5th and 7th-9th, 2011
(A somewhat more relaxed schedule for people who prefer a slower pace)
BOOK NOW with email@example.com
womenofcompassion week Dubai
- Two Spring Retreats are being held in UAE: Rotana Sharjah Hotel in Sharjah, UAE from February 27 – March 2 and March 3–6., 2011.
We will host 50 women at each retreat.
We are looking forward to a time of rest and refreshment with other women. The links to the invitation and registration form are below. http://www.womenofcompassion.com/Retreat_Invite/2011_Dubai/Announcement.html
"FACE TO FACE", Egypt
- The "FACE TO FACE" course (F2F) takes place several times a year in different ven- ues, and is designed to promote a growing relationship with God and a deeper understanding of ourselves and others. This course will come to our region next year:
* Date: 7 - 22 October, 2011. Arriving on the 7th. Leaving on 23rd.
* Place: Villa Pathy, Alexandria
* Participants: All MENA couples/singles are welcome to attend, first come, first serve.
* Children: F2F staff would prefer no child to attend. But, if you must bring them, mini- mal age is 6 months old.
* VBS: If there are children, we will run a VBS (+ school) with 4 volunteer local youths to take care of them.
* Cost: $400 (3 meals included) plus travel and visa cost.
* Travel: Ideally to Alexandria airport. Cairo airport is also no problem.
* Register: Gill.Trainor@ict.om.org
This course is designed for Christian workers actively involved in ministry for at least 2 years, who want to develop their relationship with God and grow in self understanding. The course promotes intimacy with God and facilitates an encounter with God in a fresh way. It wants to equip Christian workers to develop a deeper understanding of themselves and those they work alongside.
7. NORTH AMERICA
BARNABAS INTERNATIONAL and ELIM RETREAT MINISTRIES 2011
- BARNABAS INTERNATIONAL and ELIM RETREAT MINISTRIES will sponsor 8 renewal retreats for global workers in 2011.
6 day Retreats for adults only; spiritual debriefing, renewal, and encouragment. Low key schedule; beautful settings State-side. With deep appreciation for the value of quiet, rest, technology fasting, the Spirit and the Word. State-side personnel as well as overseas expats welcome.
For video clip, testimonies, pics and registration, see www.elimretreats.org or contact Henry Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org
2011 Member Care Training in the US by Caring for Others
- Save money by registering now for a 2011 Caring for Others Missionary Conference. Two will be held this year in Wisconsin, June 12-17 and Nov. 6-11th, for the purpose of equipping Christian workers to better care for each other. Designed for missionaries, field leaders, and member care specialists, this training conference is an interactive week of skill development in the areas of listening and pastoral care. Team members who want to learn to better care for their colleagues and mission leaders who want to see more effective member care done at the field level would benefit from this conference. For complete details please visit http://www.missionary-care.org/missionary-conference.html
To learn more of what Caring for Others is doing to care for Christian workers, click on www.missionary-care.org
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It's time for the global member care community to renew it's connections, and move member care to a new level of influence, presents, credibility and knowledge.
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