MORE NETWORK BLOG

Thank you for visiting us! Please find our latest blog right below and the rest of them at the bottom of the page, organized chronologically. Enjoy!

 

ByBenjamin Reed on Monday, January 22, 2024

Lament of a Returning Missionary

Benjamin Reed By Benjamin Reed on Monday, January 22, 2024

 

Lament of a Returning Missionary

(Loosely based upon Psalm 13 )

How long, Lord, will I miss our former HOME where I sobbed in frustration and prayed, pounding on heaven’s door to learn language(s) & culture, and how to buy food and learn to survive, let alone thrive?

Get me out here, God; my head feels like it will explode! There is so much expensive STUFF here!

How long will I grieve over the deaths of my friends from disease, the anguish of political and economic injustice? How long will evil tyrants rule in far away places? How long will I miss the beautiful hospitality and hours of table fellowship and TIME spent together? 

How long will my entire family struggle to relate to our passport country in this so-called “home”?

Turn to me and answer, oh Lord, my God! How can we answer “how we are doing” in 30 seconds? 

Yet I will trust in your unfailing love! You answered hundreds of my desperate prayers over “there”. I believe you will answer our desperate prayers here!

I will sing to you when I don’t have my own words. You see me, you hear me, you love to be with me, you see how hard this is, and you are able to bring grace exactly when I need it. 

Amen


MORE Network exists to bolster, strengthen and encourage Canadian Missionaries and their children in times of transition. We facilitate care for singles, couples, and families, particularly as they repatriate from the cross-cultural assignment, and facilitate the resourcing of member care support staff. 

If you are a cross-cultural worker or family returning to Canada, we invite you to check out our RE-VIEW debriefing retreats. MORE Network also offers Classic ReBoot, a re-entry retreat, for MKs & TCKs ages 17-20; as well as Wilderness ReBoot, a wilderness retreat for adult TCKs and MKs between 21-35. 


Benjamin Reed is the Program Director for Wilderness ReBoot, a wilderness retreat for adult Third Culture Kids. Benjamin and his wife, Marlene, have been in missionary life for 30+ years, serving in Kyrgyzstan and Canada. Currently, Ben serves as a care worker with the MORE Network, in the areas of spiritual direction and pastoral care within the overseas worker community, prayer ministry, and re-entry debriefing. Ben speaks two languages of Central Asia, plays the Komuz, and loves cultural music and learning about world culture. He also loves hiking in the great outdoors, running, swimming and biking. Ben and Marlene have been married for 30+ years, have three adult children, and are enjoying being first time grandparents.



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Did you miss our past blogs? Check them out below!

 

5 Ways to Pray for MORE Network in 2024

At the MORE Network, the key verse we’ve chosen for 2024 is Exodus 33:14: “The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 (NIV)

Prior to this verse, God had told Moses to lead the Israelites to a land flowing with milk and honey but that He would not go with them. In response Moses says in verse 15, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.”

Just as Moses did not want to go forward without God, neither do we in the MORE Network. Not only do we want God to direct us in the way we should go in 2024, but we also want His presence to go with us.

Here are 5 Areas of Prayer for the MORE Network in 2024! 

Read more...

Lament of a Returning Missionary

Loosely based on Psalm 13, here is a prayer of lament of a returning missionary. 

How long, Lord, will I miss our former HOME where I sobbed in frustration and prayed, pounding on heaven’s door to learn language(s) & culture, and how to buy food and learn to survive, let alone thrive? ...

 

Read more...

Christmas Memories from Around the World

Watermelon, Handprints and Fireworks ... What do they all have in common? They are all elements of favourite Christmas memories and traditions from our MORE Network staff, from around the world! 

Read more...

Deeply Rooted

We invite you to join us during this season of generosity so that, together, we can give Missionary Kids and their families the opportunities to experience a richer soil in Christ and broader branches in community. 

Read more...

The Eternal Benefits of Debriefing

I recently returned from RE-VIEW, a week-long family debriefing retreat, where I served as an adult facilitator and debriefer.

While there, I had the honour of hearing the stories of missionaries who have worked in the overseas ministry context for many years. And boy, did I feel inadequate for the task as some of them had faithfully served a lifetime, having much more cross-cultural experience than I have and the wisdom that accompanies such incredible life experiences.

But what struck me the most and motivated me all the more to listen, was that many of these seasoned missionaries never had the opportunity to actually share their full stories with anyone – that is their deeply personal and valuable stories, the good, the bad and the ugly. And that’s really a reflection and a limitation of our modern missionary movement; missionaries often feel obligated to share only the positive experiences and their successes, lest they be judged or misunderstood, or worse, lose vital financial or personal support...

Read more...

Bonds Beyond Borders: The Impact of ReBoot on MKs

There is something so beautiful about the quick bonds that form between MKs (Missionary Kids), who understand each other despite having drastically different life experiences. It’s like a breath of fresh air to be surrounded by people who have gone through similar life experiences. It helps you to share on a more honest and intimate level.

Each year, the MORE Network runs Classic ReBoot, a re-entry retreat for missionaries’ kids (MKs) aged 17-20 returning to life in Canada. This is a crucial time in the lives of these young adults, many of whom are not only adjusting to a new culture, but also to new schools, jobs, relationships, and living situations.

In this article, Malik, shares about his own experience at Classic ReBoot, as well as an inside scoop from attendees of the most recent Classic ReBoot!

Read more...

Adult Third Culture Kid Research: The Heart Behind the Research

This summer, we had the privilege of connecting with Shelly Lyons about her research on Adult Third Culture Kids. Listen in to hear more about the “heart” behind the research and her big picture dreams for how it will be used! 

Adult Third Culture Kids (ATCK) are adults whose lives were shaped by mobility and cross-cultural experiences during their childhood. According to Merriam Webster, a “Third Culture Kid (TCK)” refers to "a child who grows up in a culture different from the one in which his or her parents grew up ... The 'third culture' to which the term refers is the mixed identity that a child assumes, influenced both by their parents' culture and the culture in which they are raised."

Read more...

Is Competition a Biblical Value?

One Sunday morning in the church where I pastored, a family came to me and shared how some of their friends had left our church to go to another church: a "competitor church". They were completely distracted by their news. Does the Bible encourage us to compete with fellow believers? Is there such a thing as a competitor church?

Read more...

Deny Yourself: My Story of Self-Denial & Abundant Life

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” -Mark 8:34

I still remember the moment I heard the words of Mark 8, grasping their significance for the first time. Sitting amongst peers while at university – I was largely preoccupied by ambition and my pursuit of excellence.

I didn’t know a lot back then about what it means to follow Jesus, but I did know Jesus as the Saviour who pulls little children closer, drowning out harshness with His greatness. His hands had sheltered my heart throughout my youth and brought along gifts of companionship, discipleship, and understanding. I felt cherished by Jesus and it was his inordinate compassion towards me that kept me tethered to Him. 

Deny - the word sprang out at me, convicting and exposing me. 

What did that mean? 

I was well positioned to pursue the American Dream and succeed at it, and denying myself in any way was not really part of the plan. So tangibly struck, I fumbled to respond to those words within our group, finally landing on, “I don’t think I’m doing that”. 

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” -Mark 8:35

Oh boy, somehow denying myself was connected to losing my life and that was not anywhere on my to-do list. I was on track for a comfortable life, full of all the perks of a first-world society, with no regard for the reality that no one avoids suffering anyway...

Read more...

5 Ways to Pray for MORE Network in 2024
At the MORE Network, the key verse we’ve chosen for 2024 is Exodus 33:14: “The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 (NIV) Prior to this verse, God had told Moses to l...
Read more...
Lament of a Returning Missionary
Loosely based on Psalm 13, here is a prayer of lament of a returning missionary.  How long, Lord, will I miss our former HOME where I sobbed in frustration and prayed, pounding on heaven’s door to learn language(s...
Read more...
Christmas Memories from Around the World
Watermelon, Handprints and Fireworks ... What do they all have in common? They are all elements of favourite Christmas memories and traditions from our MORE Network staff, from around the world! 
Read more...
Deeply Rooted
We invite you to join us during this season of generosity so that, together, we can give Missionary Kids and their families the opportunities to experience a richer soil in Christ and broader branches in community. 
Read more...
The Eternal Benefits of Debriefing
I recently returned from RE-VIEW, a week-long family debriefing retreat, where I served as an adult facilitator and debriefer. While there, I had the honour of hearing the stories of missionaries who have worked in...
Read more...
Bonds Beyond Borders: The Impact of ReBoot on MKs
There is something so beautiful about the quick bonds that form between MKs (Missionary Kids), who understand each other despite having drastically different life experiences. It’s like a breath of fresh air to be surro...
Read more...
Adult Third Culture Kid Research: The Heart Behind the Research
This summer, we had the privilege of connecting with Shelly Lyons about her research on Adult Third Culture Kids. Listen in to hear more about the “heart” behind the research and her big picture dreams for how it will b...
Read more...
Is Competition a Biblical Value?
One Sunday morning in the church where I pastored, a family came to me and shared how some of their friends had left our church to go to another church: a "competitor church". They were completely distracted by their ne...
Read more...
Deny Yourself: My Story of Self-Denial & Abundant Life
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” -Mark 8:34 I still remember the moment I heard the words of Mark 8, grasping their significance for the first time. Si...
Read more...
Ministry at the Speed of Relationships
Building relationships is the first and foremost thing we should be about - everything else comes out of relationships. Building relationships with people from other cultures is so important, as humor; lifestyle; values...
Read more...