Missionary Care

Missions and Mental Health Resources from Ron and Bonnie Koteskey

What Missionaries Ought to Know about Books for Missionary Care

by Dr. Ronald Koteskey

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Recommended Reading, 2009

conten5Have you ever walked into a bookstore, even a Christian bookstore, and felt overwhelmed? With about 24,000 new Christian books published yearly, it is little wonder that most people are puzzled about what to read. Although lists of recommended books appear in print from time to time, many books are hard to locate unless you have access to an academic library or interlibrary loan, or they are so expensive that a missionary can hardly afford them. Here is a list of books that are available, reasonably priced, and helpful.

Criteria for including a book.

The following criteria were used to decide whether or not to include a book:

  • In Print. To be listed in this brochure, it must be available.
  • Reasonably Priced. None of the books included cost more than $25.
  • Complete Data. Price, ISBN number, and complete publication data are included, so when friends ask what you would like, any bookstore should be able to order the book.
  • Most of these books can be ordered on-line at www.amazon.com and/or www.mti.org (check both for prices, including shipping). They can also be ordered from MTI by mail, by fax, or by phone.

General missionary care.

Psychology of Missionary Adjustment. Marge Jones with E. Grant Jones, Logion Press, Springfield , MO , 1995 (ISBN 0-88243-321-0) $12.95; 11 chapters, 173 pages, bibliography, index. Although useful for missionaries at any stage in life because it covers mental health issues from a call to retirement, it is probably most useful to relatively new missionaries. The author, a missionary for nearly four decades, notes that the book was written to help missionaries persevere through the second, third, fourth and even fifth terms.

Enhancing Missionary Vitality: Mental Health Professions Serving Global Mission. John R. Powell and Joyce M. Bowers. (Editors). Mission Training International, Palmer Lake, CO, 2002 (ISBN 0-942726-03-0) $24.95, 56 chapters, 499 pages, index. This book is written basically about North American missionaries by people who attend the annual Conference on Mental Health & Missions. Although written by and for mental health professionals, many of the chapters are of interest to missionaries themselves.

The Family in Mission: Understanding and Caring for Those Who Serve. Leslie A. Andrews, Mission Training International (MTI), Palmer Lake, CO, 2004 (ISBN 0-942726-04-9) $24.95. 21 chapters, 23 contributors, 7 appendices, 390 pages. This is the final report of the 15-year study by the MK-CART/CORE (Missionary Kid Consultation and Research team, Committee on Research and Endowments). The major sections of the book are educational context, adult missionary kids, and the missionary family.

Women’s Issues.

Screams in the Desert: Hope and Humor for Women in Cross-Cultural Ministry. Sue Eenigenburg. Willam Carey Library, Pasadena, CA 2007. (ISBN 978-0-87808-517-0) $11.99; 52 chapters, 254 pages. Written by a woman who has been there, this book’s poignant accounts of everyday experiences in another culture give hope to women who are there now. Each chapter ends with scripture, questions, action, and prayer.

Frontline Women: Negotiating Crosscultural Issues in Ministry. Marguerite G. Kraft (Ed.), William Carey Library, Pasadena, CA, 2003 (ISBN 0-87808-356-1) $17.99; 12 chapters, 11 contributors, 225 pages. index. Written mostly by women for women, this book covers many women’s issues including stress, roles, loneliness, life-style, self-image, marginality and the demonic. As noted in the forward, women need to read this book to be encouraged and men need to read it and wake up.

Care of MKs

Raising Global Nomads: Parenting in an On-Demand World. Robin Pascoe, Expatriate Press, Vancouver, BC, Canada. 2006 (ISBN 0-9686760-3-0) $24.95; 10 chapters, 230 pages, appendix. Written by the mother of TCKS, this book is filled with personal experiences as well as much practical advice on living in other cultures. Much has changed in our world since 1993 when the author wrote her parents guide. This update considers implications for TCKs growing up outside their passport culture in this globalized, digitized, terrorized world.

Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up among Worlds. David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken, Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, ME, 2001 (ISBN 1-877864-72-2) $19.95; 18 chapters, appendix, 333 pages. Written by authors with many years of experience working with TCKs, this book not only reveals what TCKs are like, but goes on to devote 7 chapters telling how to maximize the benefits of being a TCK.

Fitted Pieces: A Guide for Parents Educating Children Overseas. Janet R. Blomberg and David F. Brooks, Share Education Services, St. Clair Shores, MI, 2001 (ISBN not available) $25.00, 8 Chapters, 667 Pages. With 84 articles (50 from Interact) appearing in the eight chapters, this is without question the most comprehensive book available on the education of third culture kids. It is a valuable resource for people considering the education of their children overseas.

Raising Resilient MKs: Resources for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers. Joyce M. Bowers (Ed.), Association of Christian Schools International, Colorado Springs, CO, 1998; 56 chapters, 38 contributors, 3 appendices, 510 pages. This book has been out of print, but ACSI has made it available free of charge as an E-book at www.missionarycare.com/ebook.

Relationships with others

Ministering Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Personal Relationships. Sherwood G. Lingenfelter & Marvin K. Mayers, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1986 (ISBN 0-8010-5632-2) $13.99; 9 chapters, 125 pages. Two missionary-professors developed this questionnaire/model that results in a personal profile on twelve basic values that often result in disagreements between people, even people from the same culture.

By Ones & by Twos: Building Successful Relationships between Marrieds and Singles in Ministry. Jeannie Lockerbie Stephenson. ABWE Publishing, Harrisburg, PA 2008 (ISBN 978-1-888796-42-1) $17.00; 11 chapters, 140 pages. Married since she wrote earlier versions of this book, the author has revised and expanded it to include content for single men and married couples that can help everyone to live and work in harmony.

Cross-Cultural Conflict: Building Relationships for Effective Ministry. Duane Elmer, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 1994 (ISBN 0-8308-1657-7) $16.00; 12 chapters, bibliography, 189 pages. A missionary-professor contrasts handling conflicts the American way with handling them in other cultures. This is useful for maintaining relationships with missionaries from other cultures as well as nationals to whom you are ministering.

Personal Issues

Honourably Wounded: Stress among Christian Workers. Marjorie Foyle, Evangelical Missions Information Service, Monarch Books, Grand Rapids MI, 2001 (ISBN 0-8254-6023-9) $13.99; 14 chapters, 288 pages. Written by a missionary psychiatrist with a lifetime of missionary service in India, this book offers a broad overview of many topics gathered under the general topic of stress. Written for practical self-help, this is the best general book to buy if you can afford only one.

The Art of Coming Home. Craig Storti, Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, ME’ 2002 (ISBN 1-877864-47-1) $22.95; 5 chapters, 203 pages. Written by a Peace Corps volunteer specializing in cross-cultural adjustment and repatriation, this book includes sections for the spouse and children as well as sections for exchange students, volunteers, military, and missionaries.

Parents of Missionaries: How to Thrive and Stay Connected When Your Children and Grandchildren Serve Cross-Culturally. Cheryl Savageau and Diane Stortz, Authentic Publishing, Colorado Springs, CO 2008 (ISBN 978-1-934068-39-7) $16.99; 14 chapters, 289 pages. Written by a counselor and a parent of a missionary, this book helps parents of missionaries understand their own internal conflicts and gives practical suggestions to sustain relationships with their children and grandchildren.

books2One final note. If people in your sending country ask what they can do to care for you, suggest that they read Serving as Senders: How to Care for Your Missionaries While They Are Preparing to Go, While They Are on the Field, When They Return Home, Neal Pirolo, San Diego, CA, 1991 (ISBN 1-880185-00-8) $7.95, 207 pages and/or The Reentry Team, Neal Pirolo, Emmaus Road International: San Diego, CA, 2000 (ISBN 1-800185-07-5) $8.95; 10 chapters, 319 pages.

About the Author



Ron and Bonnie Koteskey are Member Care Consultants with Go International.

They have provided member care for missionaries since 1997.