Traveling Together as Learners-Practitioners
As of 2013, most of the new updates and resources are now posted on the main website for Member Care Associates rather than on this website. Many of the sections and materials on this site are still of much interest and relevance--for both historical perspectives and helpful resources.
CORE Member Care Blog: Reflections, Research, and Resources for Good Practice
This site offers materials to support those who are interested and involved in member care and international work in the health care fields as well as in other sectors. It is especially oriented towards graduate students and others receiving and/or offering training in member care-related areas.
We encourage people to form special groups (caravans) to "travel together" for mutual support, learning, and growth.
"A much traveled person knows many things. And a person of great experience will talk sound sense." Ecclesiasticus 34:9 circa 190 B.C.
Member Care focuses on supporting the wellbeing and effectiveness of workers (WE). It is the ongoing investment of resources by sending groups, service organizations, and workers themselves, for the nurture and development of personnel.
Global Integration is a framework for actively and responsibly engaging in our world–collaborating locally to globally--for God's glory. It emphasizes connecting relationally and contributing relevantly on behalf of human wellbeing and the issues facing humanity, in light of our integrity, commitments, and core values.
Another song I very much appreciate is
Traveler's Song by the Future of Forestry.
"If you travel here, you will feel it all
the brighest and he darkest.
If you travel here, listen to your heart
and take wwth you what lasts forever."
I recently heard this song, Oasis by Kalley Heiligenthal,
It reminded me of God's presence
in my journeys through all kinds of terrain,
caravaning with others and on my own into member care,
across sectors, cultures, countries, and comfort zones.
"You are water from the rock and I'll thirst no more
You'll hold up my arms when I'm battle-torn
Oasis within me, You're the oasis within me.
You are colors in the sky after forty rains
In the thick of the night, You're the break of day
Oasis within me, You're the oasis within me".
Notes on Students in Member Care and Global Integration
"God has often used students in pivotal ways within the course of missions history."
Dr. Hans Ritschard, 1992
Note March 2021: There have been different iterations of this group over the years--currently it is no longer active although aspects of it are represented/mainstreamed in different programs, courses, campus groups, etc.
We are a group of graduate students, alumni, and professionals from Fuller Theological Seminary, Azusa Pacific University, and Biola University (California, USA). We meet together to spur one another in the field of member care. We share our personal experiences, discuss mental health issues related to missions and international work, obtain training from experts in the field, and network with other students and professionals. We meet together twice a month, once for a casual time of connecting, prayer, and encouragement, and once for a formal time of training with a local member care professional. Perhaps this is a type of group that you can form in your setting. For further information: email: email@example.com web site: https://sites.google.com/site/fullercaravan/
Here is a related, historical quote from the "Memory Lane" section of this web site.
"A growing (albeit small at present) number of students in the behavioral science and humanitarian service fields are presently training to become member care providers. These people represent a storehouse of energy and enthusiasm that can be effectively harnessed for member care. Although many of them might as yet have limited professional and missions experience, they are nevertheless being exposed to a variety of academic material and ideas that will ultimately be useful to member care. Further, many students are anxious to participate in member care activities while they are in training; their participation in a member care consultation provides and ideal means for establishing a foothold in the emerging member care field." Dr. Hans Ritschard, (1992), "The Member Care Consultation"
A Few Examples--Worth Remembering and Reviewing
Global Member Care (Volume 2 ): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity, Kelly and Michele O'Donnell, Editors (William Carey Library Publishers) Click here for book description; Click here for the book website
1. The electronic version is now available! (with some core excerpts)
2. New resources added--see Vol 2 Updates section (book website)
3. Suggestions for using this book--See Vol 2 Application section (book website)
Mental Health as Mission (mhM) (MCA Resource Update, September 2012)
Interview with Michele and Kelly O'Donnell (Christian Manager, April-May 2012). Includes perspectives on issues/trends in member care and mission as well as reflections of the recent MUT member care consultation in India.
Global Letters for a Global Community: This expanded issue of the Member Care Update (May 2012) consist of excerpts from Global Letters for a Global Community (CORE Member Care blog, January-April 2012). The first part overviews some foundational perspectives that have positively affected the development of global member care (GMC). The second part identifies some current issues that have negatively affected the progress of GMC. Both parts emphasize the healing commitment to “truth and peace” in our relationships (Zech. 8:19)...It is also sent as a special encouragement to the hundreds of participants that are meeting at the Member Care Conference in Bangalore, India (18-20 April) and at the Global Member Care Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand (23-27 April).
18-20 April 2012: Missionary Upholders Trust (MUT) organized its sixth Member Care Consultation, this time located in Bangalore India. Around 190 people gathered together to interact over the adjustment and wellbeing of mission workers in India. The recent MUT survey on stressors for mission workers (estimated at 50,000 Indians) was reviewed and helped stimulate the presentations and many discussions. The new edited book, Member Care in India: Ministry Call to Home Call was also launched. Click here to access highlights and photos from this national consultation. (for more information on MUT and this new book see the June 2012 MCA Resource Update (on this site).
More Featured items
Worth Remembering and Reviewing
New--Caravan Member Care Conference. The second annual conference will be held at Fuller Seminary (Pasadena, USA) on 1 October 2011. Three distinguished speakers will discuss the importance of connections related to the wellbeing of member care workers.
New--PETRA People. Materials to promote accountability, transparency, and anti-corruption in the church-mission community (CMC), including documents/analyses about the Nordic Capital Investment KB case (NCI). This blog and web site is updated regularly with input from consultants, fraud victims, and others committed to the well-being/credibility of the CMC. Note March 2021: These sites and efforts continue to be very active.
New 2011--Helping Ms Grow: Readings in Mental Health and Missions (1988). A foundational book for the field, with 50 articles from 1974-1988. Available online for the first time (formats: pdf written and mp3 audio). The four parts cover: Preparation, Families, Adjustment, and Special Issues. On this site!
Organizational Perspectives for Member Care. Materials from the Training Day, 19 June 2010, held at Fuller School of Psychology, Pasadena, California, USA. Video, audio, and written--five presentations featuring an extensive case study on the UN Refugee Organization (UNHCR), future directions for member care, and more.
Culture-Diversity: Global Mental Health. This section of the site highlights health care in light of human diversity and cross-cultural contexts. The materials are designed to promote our understanding, respect, and competencies as we work with others. Two examples that we highlight: the book Where There Is No Psychiatrist and the online material from the World Federation of Mental Health. Initial additions are materials from the World Heath Organization's Department of Mental Health, Global Health TV, and the Movement for Global Mental Health. There are also references to "International Cases" in the DSM-IV TR Casebook (2002) and "Outline for Cultural Formulation/Glossary of Culture-Bound Syndromes" in the DSM-IV TR (2000).
Media that Matters. This is a special section offering links to core multimedia sites for international news and analyses, emphasizing humanitarian issues. One fascinating item is the five-minute video documentary on "street psychiatry" in India (on the home page currently of the international news site Global Post). Updates: Include three additional news sites: International Crisis Group (independent analysis of world events/crises), LiveStaton( access to several TV stations for free including the BBC), and Forum Network (free video lectures on many topics from PBS and NPR).
God in the Global Office (2009).
This is a foundational overview of our work in member care linking it to our perspectives and opportunities for global issues. The link above is for the powerpoint and it also includes the transcript of our comments in the note pages under the slides--great for more in-depth study. Click here to access the audio. Note that you have to advance the slides manually/separately as you listen to the audio (if you want to combine both). Note that some of the short video links for creative and personal applications no longer work (as of November 2022).
Fuller School of Psychology: Member Care Lectures, February 2009. Topics: member care history and future directions, health and dysfunction, ethics and human rights. Available for free download: written, audio, and video. click here. Audios here.
Member care is the ongoing investment of resources by sending groups, service organizations, and workers themselves, for the nurture and development of personnel.
-It focuses on every member of the organization, including children and home office staff; and locals, nationals, volunteers who are part of/working with the sending group and organization.
–It includes preventative, developmental, supportive, and restorative care. A core part of member care is the mutual care that workers provide each other. Workers receive it and they give it. Connecting with resources and people in the local/host community is also key.
–It seeks to implement an adequate flow of care from recruitment through retirement.
–The goal is to develop resilience, skills, and virtue, which are key to helping personnel stay healthy and effective in their work. Member care thus involves both developing inner resources (e.g., perseverance, stress tolerance) and providing external resources (e.g., team building, logistical support, skill training).
Member Care Associates
Member Care Associates Inc. (MCA) is a non-profit organisation working internationally and across sectors. We focus on wellbeing for mission, humanitarian, development, peacebuilding, and health workers and their organizations; global mental health; ethics and good practice; and integrity/anti-corruption. Our services include consultation, training, research, developing resources, and publications, emphasizing those working with vulnerable/unreached peoples.