Member care has become a specialized discipline within missions, drawing on the contributions of Christian counseling and psychology, pastoral care, and human resource development. Much is happening in the international member care community, especially in North America and Europe. This article highlights some of the key developments that have shaped and are shaping this field. It also points out the need to develop and prioritize additional supportive resources for those working among unreached people groups and for agencies from the “Newer Sending Countries” (Asia, Africa, and Latin America). The article closes with five suggestions—“PACTS”— for further developing this crucial field, calling upon the various member care streams to purposefully join together on behalf of the missions community.
Global mental health (GMH) is a growing domain with an increasing capacity to positively impact the world community's efforts for sustainable development and wellbeing. Sharing and synthesizing GMH and multi-sectoral knowledge, the focus of this paper, is an important way to support these global efforts. This paper consolidates some of the most recent and relevant ‘context resources’ [global multi-sector (GMS) materials, emphasizing world reports on major issues] and ‘core resources’ (GMH materials, including newsletters, texts, conferences, training, etc.). In addition to offering a guided index of materials, it presents an orientation framework (global integration) to help make important information as accessible and useful as possible. Mental health colleagues are encouraged to stay current in GMH and global issues, to engage in the emerging agendas for sustainable development and wellbeing, and to intentionally connect and contribute across sectors. Colleagues in all sectors are encouraged to do likewise, and to take advantage of the wealth of shared and synthesized knowledge in the GMH domain, such as the materials featured in this paper.
This article explores the relationship between community psychology and frontier missions. Similarities between these two fields, such as their common perspectives on delivering services to underserved populations, provide points of contact between them. Specific focus is placed on community psychology contributions to missionaries and mission agencies in the area of needs and resource assessment The application of community psychology assessment techniques is discussed by highlighting their use on a frontier project targeting the Nahuatl people of Mexico. Some suggestions for additional applications of community psychology are given.
How can we build on the substantial foundations of member care as we pursue new opportunities for impacting our needy world? We address this important question through the framework of Global Integration (GI) and multi-sectoral member care. GI is a framework for linking our integrity, skills, and values in order to address the major issues in our world. We present five strategic areas for connecting and contributing across sectors in member care as “global integrators.” These areas include engaging our world via: the member care field; international issues; the humanitarian, development, and other sectors; global mental health; and faith-based partnerships. We finish by describing seven indicators for involvement as global integrators and a sample GI template for multi-sectoral member care. We encourage colleagues to continue the emphasis on well-being and effectiveness for mission personnel while launching into new areas of challenge and service within the missio Dei.
One of the recent developments in the care of missionary personnel has been the formation of regional interagency member-care affiliations (RIMAs). These groups help to identify and develop needed resources (e.g., team building workshops, crisis care networks, attrition research) on behalf of mission personnel in a specific region (e.g., West Africa, South Asia, Germanspeaking Europe). RIMAs reflect the growing cooperative efforts within both the international health care and mission communities. This article explores several characteristics of these strategic new affiliations, offers suggestions for their formation and maintenance, and includes some personal reflections from the author. Helpful concepts from the field of community psychology are also discussed, such as identifying groups or areas at risk and empowering missionaries and member care personnel with additional skills.
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