Publications

FMTM Publication Highlight: “Remaining Faithful: A Guide for Reflecting on Short-Term Mission Experiences”

The fifth of five in our series of blog posts highlighting the newest editions of From Mission to Mission Publications:

Remaining FaithfulA Guide for Reflecting on Short-Term Mission Experiences
By Julie Lupien and Michelle A. Scheidt

$11.95 Buy on Amazon

This guide offers a series of exercises for reflection, integration, and prayer following a short-term experience in another culture. As increasing numbers of people participate in short-term mission, this book offers practical tools for integrating the experience as part of a lifelong commitment to service. The exercises can be used by individuals or groups to guide regular, structured reflection for one year following the short-term service experience. The guide shares insights from decades of experience with those returning from a time of living and serving in another culture.

I have been waiting for a resource like this for those who are returning from short-term mission and volunteer programs. They have seen good times and bad and been changed in the process, but they often don’t know what to do with all of this when they come home. Remaining Faithful provides a very usable practical guide—with good input, reflections, exercises, and prayers—to help people reflect upon their experiences and to integrate this into their on-going life journeys.”

– Rev. Roger Schroeder, SVD, Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Professor of Mission and Culture, Catholic Theological Union at Chicago, Author of What is the Mission the Church? A Guide for Catholics, 2nd ed. (2018)

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHIES

Julie Lupien has been the Executive Director of From Mission to Mission since 2002. In 2015, she received the first Pope Francis Mission Award from the U.S. Catholic Mission Association, in recognition for years of excellence, vision, and compassion while ministering to missioners returning to the United States after both long-term and short-term mission engagements. As a member of the Volunteer Missionary Movement (VMM) Julie served in Zimbabwe, Africa, and St. Kitts, West Indies. Julie’s short-term mission experience includes Alternative Spring Break in Appalachia when she was a campus minister at Northern Illinois University, participating in the Young Neighbors in Action program in Yakima, Washington, and a parish mission trip to St. Kitts when she served as a Pastoral Team member at Spirit of Peace Catholic Community in Longmont, Colorado.

Michelle A. Scheidt has worked in the nonprofit sector for 25 years and is currently a program officer at the Fetzer Institute, which is dedicated to helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world. She served as a lay volunteer for two years and later co-directed the Claretian Volunteer and Lay Missionary Program in Chicago and served as a board member for From Mission to Mission. Michelle has extensive intercultural experience in inner city Chicago and in Latin America. She holds a BA in English from Marian University, Indianapolis; an MA in Pastoral Studies from Catholic Theological Union, Chicago; and a Doctorate in Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary. Michelle and her spouse Barbara Crock live in the woods near Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Publications

FMTM Publication Highlight: “Understanding Short-Term Mission: A Guide for Leaders and Participants”

The fourth of five in our series of blog posts highlighting the newest editions of From Mission to Mission Publications:

Understanding Short-Term Mission: A Guide for Leaders and Participants
by Julie Lupien

Blog post by Julie Lupien, author and From Mission to Mission Director 

For most of our history at FMTM our only focus was on re-entry after years of serving in another culture. This changed when one of our Re-entry Workshop participants expressed that he wished he’d had our workshop after a Spring Break service trip he went on in college. That led to our first resource created to help those involved in short-term mission to reflect on their experiences, “Remaining Faithful: How do I keep my experience alive?” (now “Remaining Faithful: A Guide for Reflecting on Short-Term Mission Experiences).” This then led to numerous requests for help in preparing for short-term experiences.

When I researched what resources were available for short-term mission, I discovered that most focused on the logistics like what to pack. Knowing the importance of good preparation and reflection, I decided to write Understanding Short-term Mission.

When I researched what resources were available for short-term mission, I discovered that most focused on the logistics like what to pack. Knowing the importance of good preparation and reflection, I decided to write Understanding Short-term Mission.

I actually wrote this with someone in mind. When I worked in a parish, Doug volunteered to lead our mission trips. Doug designed computers for a living. He was a very kind and generous person with a big heart. But, he didn’t know a lot about how to prepare the group for what they would encounter on their trip, nor how to reflect on it. I wrote this so that others like Doug could help their groups understand mission and how to enter another culture with respect and sensitivity.

I wrote this so that others like Doug could help their groups understand mission and how to enter another culture with respect and sensitivity. 

This guide offers support and learning for those who lead short-term mission programs as well as for the participants. Topics include understanding mission, practicalities for leaders, a comprehensive tool kit for reflection and spiritual practice, and a series of essays sharing wisdom from experienced leaders of short-term mission experiences.

This book provides practical guidance on how to prepare for, participate in, and reflect on the experience so that participants integrate short-term mission as part of a lifelong commitment to service.

The guide shares insights from decades of experience with those returning from a time of living and serving in another culture.


Many good-hearted women and men have taken part in a variety of short-term mission programs for years, but proper guidance often was lacking. However, finally, this book, Understanding Short-Term Mission, provides an excellent accessible resource for participants and organizers through the stages of preparation, insertion, and return. It includes practical tips, reflection guides, and most importantly in-depth insights into the challenges and opportunities of such experiences.

– Rev. Roger Schroeder, SVD, Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Professor of Mission and Culture, Catholic Theological Union at Chicago, Author of What is the Mission the Church? A Guide for Catholics, 2nd ed. (2018)

Publications

FMTM Publication Highlight: “Finding Life After Trauma: A Guide for Missioners and Volunteers and Those Who Care for Them”

The third of five in our series of blog posts highlighting the newest editions of From Mission to Mission Publications:

Finding Life After Trauma: A Guide for Missioners and Volunteers and Those Who Care for Them by Michelle A. Scheidt, DMin and Maureen R. Connors, PhD

Blog post by Michelle Scheidt, author and From Mission to Mission Board Member 

Service in another culture offers many rewards and challenges. People who live and work in a culture different from their own are often exposed to trauma, including experiences such as natural disasters, interpersonal conflict, violence, grieving, abuse, stress, and generally feeling overwhelmed by poverty and the needs of others. These trauma experiences are common, whether the volunteer or missioner has engaged in service for a week or for decades, in other countries or in diverse settings in North America. Volunteers and missioners typically face trauma experiences with strength and resiliency, but those who help others sometimes need help themselves.

Volunteers and missioners typically face trauma experiences with strength and resiliency, but those who help others sometimes need help themselves.

This is where From Mission to Mission can offer support and why the organization exists. In 1980 a group of returned missioners realized that they could be the best type of support for one another because they understood deeply the unique experience of mission and re-entry. The organization From Mission to Mission was unexpectedly born from this informal gathering, and has gone on to serve thousands returning home after service in a culture different from their own. Finding Life After Trauma is the fifth book in a series written by returned missioners, for returned missioners, to support the healing journey of transition.

Finding Life After Trauma is… written by returned missioners, for returned missioners, to support the healing journey of transition.

The guide shares insights from decades of experience with thousands of volunteers and missioners who have returned from a time of living and serving in another culture. Some of the questions this guide addresses include:

  • What is trauma? How do I know if I or my loved one is suffering from it?
  • What can I do to foster healing after trauma?
  • How do I know if professional care is needed?
  • What spiritual practices can help heal mind, body and spirit after trauma?
  • How do leaders and organizations best prepare volunteers and missioners so they have the resources to deal with trauma they might experience?
  • What are appropriate responses from leaders, communities, and mission sending organizations when someone in their group has a trauma experience?
  • How can families and friends best support their loved ones who have experienced trauma?

Rev. Kenneth W Schmidt, MA, LPC, NCC, Executive Director of Trauma Recovery Associates based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, offers the following endorsement of the manual: “I have worked with trauma survivors for the past fifteen years. This is a wonderful book for missioners who have so much to process when they return to their first home. Sometimes that includes traumatic events, and this book is a useful guide, while recognizing that some will need additional professional support. It’s also a great resource for the people who love those returning missioners and want to understand and support them.”

People who live and work in a culture different from their own often have experiences of trauma, including experiences such as natural disasters, interpersonal conflict, violence, grieving, abuse, stress, and generally feeling overwhelmed by poverty and the needs of others. Volunteers and missioners typically face trauma experiences with strength and resiliency, but those who help others sometimes need help themselves.

This book offers resources for volunteers and missioners, leaders of mission sending organizations and religious communities, and those at home who want to better support their loved one who has experienced trauma.

The guide includes information and learning about trauma, practical suggestions and tip sheets, and emotional and spiritual practices, and helps equip those who have experienced trauma with the internal resources they need to heal and thrive. This book is one in a series of five volumes published by From Mission to Mission, an organization serving returning missioners and volunteers since 1980. The guide shares insights from decades of experience with those returning from a time of living and serving in another culture.


Really helpful compilation of resources. Finding Life after Trauma is a fantastic resource, even for those who are not missionaries. As a therapist, I have it in my office not only for the helpful compilation of one page resources included, but also the important reminders about self care and tips to avoid vicarious trauma. As a supervisor of other therapists, those self-care and vicarious trauma tips are essential for clinicians to keep in mind. Thanks to the authors for putting this important resource together.

– Amazon customer 5-star review, February 9, 2018

Publications

FMTM Publication Highlight: “Welcoming Them Home: A Guide for Families and Friends of Returning Missioners and Volunteers”

The second in our series of blog posts highlighting the newest editions of From Mission to Mission Publications:

From Mission to Mission exists because returning to your home culture after serving in another is usually challenging. There are a number of factors that contribute to this, from feelings of grief, to the pressures of getting started again, to the loss of feeling like you really made a difference. Many missioners and volunteers feel a sense of isolation when they return. They have witnessed and experienced things that most people at home don’t understand or can’t relate to. Because of this, some have described feeling “like an alien from another planet.”

Re-entry is challenging, but it doesn’t have to be devastating. Having a caring, understanding support system is an important factor in helping make the most of this time. Re-entry is a unique transition. Families, friends and community members care and would like to help but don’t know what to do since most have not experienced re-entry themselves… But, we have!

Re-entry is challenging, but it doesn’t have to be devastating.

Welcoming Them Home was created to help the family, friends and community members of missioners and volunteers understand what is typical for someone dealing with re-entry and ways to offer support. It was written by those who have personally gone through re-entry, as well as accompanied many missioners and volunteers through their transitions.


Welcoming Them Home: A Guide for Families and Friends of Returning Missioners and Volunteers

When a volunteer or missioner returns home after service in another culture, people at home face many questions about how to best support them during their transition. Many people find that the person they knew has changed, missing their cross-culture experience and struggling to feel comfortable in the place they call home. Friends, co-workers, parishes, families, religious communities, and mission sending organizations all play important roles in helping the volunteer or missioner thrive as they transition to a new place.

This book is intended to help those at home better understand the experience of re-entry and offers some suggestions for helping make this time of transition life-giving for those returning and for their receiving community.

The book includes information about re-entry, transition, and practical advice for those at home who want to support their loved one. This book is one in a series of five volumes published by From Mission to Mission, an organization serving returning missioners and volunteers since 1980. The guide shares insights from decades of experience with those returning from a time of living and serving in another culture.


In my seven years as Executive Director of From Mission to Mission, a frequent question I received from families, religious communities, and parishes about a returning missioner or volunteer was: “How do we welcome them home?” This practical guide helps all concerned avoid inappropriate comments, plan meaningful liturgies or prayer services and promote understanding of the life transition the volunteer or missioner is experiencing.

– Maureen Connors, PhD

From Mission to Mission, Publications, Re-Entry Workshops

FMTM Publication Highlight: “Returning Home: A Guide for Missioners and Volunteers in Transition”

The next series of blog posts will highlight the newest editions of From Mission to Mission Publications. Over the past couple of years, the From Mission to Mission Board has taken on the project of updating all of the From Mission to Mission publications and publishing them on Amazon so that more people can benefit from the decades of experience and wisdom of those who have returned from a time living and serving in other cultures.

Today we highlight:

 

After a time of living and working in another culture, volunteers and missioners face the difficult transition of leaving and returning home. Whether they were somewhere close to home or on the other side of the world, for a few weeks or for decades, the process of re-entry can be challenging. This book offers suggestions, reflection guides, and support for the person experiencing the process, from the time of preparing to leave through their return and readjustment to their home culture.

Transition includes the three phases of Endings, the Neutral Zone, and Beginnings, each with its own emotional, spiritual, and practical challenges. Returning Home offers a deeper understanding of the transition process, exercises for personal reflection and processing, important reminders, and tips for storytelling. The guide shares insights from decades of experience with those returning from a time of living and serving in another culture.

$7.95 Buy it on Amazon

Several months before my husband and I were leaving South Africa after two years as missioners, an earlier version of this book came in the mail. It gave us the words and questions that we most needed to hear and answer as we said our goodbyes and returned from the bush to the high powered suburbs of Washington DC. As I worked with many returned missioners in the following years, I found this book continued to be both a revelation —“these feelings are normal”— and a consolation to know that they were experiencing the acute life transition dozens of missioners and volunteers had known before them.

– Maureen Conners, PhD