Features for 2018

December 2018

What happens when you first arrive 'back home'? Joanne Elsworth, our guest writer this month, takes us through Reverse Culture Shock: What it is, How we can cope and What we can learn through it.

Our Christmas section not only lists places where you can buy cards, gifts and alternative gifts all for the benefit of mission. We also highlight a number of Christmas resources that you might find useful ... especially if you're in a place where good resources are hard to come by. For instance, how about using some of the online advent guides to help you prepare for Christ's coming?

Here's a US based website with a similar heart to OSCAR, which we love! Visit them for any resources you need stateside, like accommodation or travel, plus otherÂ?resources provided by the US mission community. Like OSCAR, many of theirÂ?resources are useful for anyone involved in mission anywhere in the world.

A review of this e-book by Carole Hallett Mobbs packed with practical tips and lists to help your family with moving internationally. The author also runs aÂ?website calledÂ?www.expatchild.comÂ?with additional resources and tips, including a packing list/checklist offered as a free download.

Every December we encourage all those who use the OSCAR website to consider supporting this free-to-access service. It actually costs us around 20p for every visit made to our website. With around 800 visits per day, this makes OSCAR significantly dependent on donations to operate. Your contribution enables us to continue to freely serve all users with the tools and resources they need to carry out God's mission. Please help if you can.

November 2018

How good are you at taking a day of rest? Our guest author this month, missionary Nicky Brand, tells us how important it has become to her and gives us a few pointers for making sure we take a sabbath.

Janet Brown and Ruth MacBean have produced mission & me?, a flexible six week course ready to be used in churches to excite, inspire and challenge children & young people and their families, to be involved in God's Mission. 

2414 Movement is a new global coalition praying and working together to start kingdom movement engagements in every unreached people and place by 2025. 

OSCAR's Christmas section includes mission organisations which sell Christmas cards and gifts for their ministry, plus 'alternative gifts' for people in need all over the world. 

Please take our 5 minute user survey so we can get your input on which of our services you have found useful over the last year and how you'd like us to help you going forward into the next year.

October 2018

Mission and aid workers, as well as those who work on the support side, can often be exposed to traumatic situations, whether directly or indirectly through reviewing stories and material. In the second of two articles (the previous one was back in August on resilience), Fiona Dunkley helps us recognise trauma symptoms so we know when further support is needed. 

This book follows the trials and triumphs of author Caroline Bellew and her family as they pioneered and planted a number of churches in Spain over nearly 40 years. Reviewed by Andy Warner.

All Nations Christian College have just launched a new 4-session group study resource for churches. It's designed for Christians who want to know more about mission and how to relate to different cultures. 

Good Neighbor Insurance in the USA have put together a handy travel checklist. It's a great place to start if you're planning a mission trip or visit to another part of the world.

We're looking for 100 people to become 'Friends of OSCAR' by setting up a regular, monthly donation of £5 or more. If you think what we do is important, or if OSCAR has helped you with something in the past, now's your chance to help others into the future.

Features - September 2018

You could say that all church planting is cross-cultural. It's certainly true that cross-cultural church planting skills learnt in an overseas context are increasingly useful in a UK context. Alex Hawke, missionary in South-East Asia, shares his thoughts and suggestions for those planting churches cross-culturally. Many of these are good principles for anyone serving in mission.

This is an unusual book to feature but one that could be immensely useful for anyone moving overseas. This relocation-focused bullet-type Journal helps you organise the many lists of ‘things to do’ before you move. It includes a planner, a to-do list, a diary, a notebook and a journal making it not only a useful aid but a great record of your transition to a new location.

The purpose of this website is to provide information for Christians living in Europe about the languages spoken by the people we see arriving in our countries from other nations, and to give links to any Bibles or Bible stories that are available in those languages. These include videos and audio recordings, as well as text resources.

The Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide have a scheme that offers bursaries of up to £1000 for individuals undertaking trips to a Christian community in a culture other than their own. Some age restrictions apply and trips should be longer than 4 weeks. Check their website for other eligibility criteria.

This Autumn, we're offering our Gold package at half of the annual rate. This means that for as little as £45 you get all of this for the rest of 2018: 
- advertise all of your opportunities/jobs on our system
- a highlighted listing and profile page for your organisation
- a free job card on display at CRE in London in October

Features - August 2018

Continuing our series on conflict management, many conflicts come about when we’re not in a good place, so this month we’re focusing on ways of building up resilience and keeping stress levels down. Our article is written by Fiona Dunkley who has launched her own resilience toolkit for aid workers.

This new book by David & Lorene Wilson has been collated to help churches understand their role in fulfilling the Great Commission by raising up and sending out the next generation of missionaries. It is a collaboration of 40 different authors from churches, agencies, parachurch organizations, as well as cross-cultural workers on the field.

This great resource site is designed to help you share God’s Word with children. You can use and adapt these free resources to teach any age group in all kinds of teaching situations. It’s actually a collection of over 170 bible stories, each with lots of practical resources to help children explore and learn.

If you’re looking to campaign on a Christian issue or you’re keen to see God’s justice established in specific situations, you might be interested to know about various pressure groups set up to equip and resource you for this. OSCAR has a new section for listing these. Let us known about any we’re missing.

With exhibition season and holidays, there may not be anyone in our office for some of the next month (which is a shame because it has air conditioning!). However, all methods of communication will still get through to us and all of our services are available as usual.

Features - July 2018

How do you respond to criticism? You can’t go far in mission or ministry before you’re faced with this issue. Our guest writer this month, Jonathan Roberts from the Salvation Army, gives us some helpful advice. We’re hoping that this may be the first in a series on Conflict Management.

This is a great little eBook with some basic methodology for support raising. It covers basic budgeting, setting targets and strategy, and keeping good records of your current and potential supporters. All things we would highly recommend.

If you’re going on mission or travelling to visit people across the world, make sure you’re covered for every possible eventuality. Insurance isn’t so easy to find for many mission destinations and activities, but our new expanded insurance section has lots of advice and links to get you on the right track.

OSCAR hosts a job/opportunities stand at six major Christian festivals and conferences over the next two months. These include New Wine, Naturally Supernatural, Creation Fest, Bangor Worldwide, One Event, David's Tent and CRE. If you have a role that you want to advertise on our board, make sure you submit it in time. The first deadline is Friday 20th July.

If you're attending any of the aforementioned festivals or conferences over the next two months, come and say 'Hi' to OSCAR in the exhibition. We're also running mission partner get-togethers at New Wine and leading seminars at David’s Tent.

Features - June 2018

Are mission organisations and churches failing millennials? Our guest author this month, Sarita Hartz, has conducted a revealing survey about the responses of millennials in mission. Her insight can help us understand if we're part of the problem or part of the solution. 

Are you getting enough time off to recharge your batteries? Holidays are important. Those who don't take proper breaks can be more of a liability than an asset. OSCAR's new accommodation section gives links to all sorts of solutions for breaks and vacations in the UK and around the world.

We've been updating some of our downloadable resource materials and have made most of them FREE! This includes Tony Horsfall's 'Time Out' studies for short-term teams and Claudia Smith's 'Steps on the Missionary Road' studies for new mission workers.

Subtitled 'The unexpurgated story of the Running Doctor!' this autobiography by Val Inchley OBE gives real insight into the life of a long-term medical missionary to Nepal.

Do you have a need for practical, skills based mission training? Maybe OSCAR can help. We already have three courses planned for the Autumn, in Winchester, Cardiff and Gloucester, and are open to others.

Features - May 2018

What is Hostile Environment Training (HET) and when and why might you need it? That's the question posed and answered by our guest author this month, Tim Mercer, along with some general advice about staying safe on the field.

As the title reveals, this book is all about attitudes to mission. The reviewer, Phil Jolley, says it's 'one of the most helpful books I have read on mission'.

30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World runs from 15th May to 14th June 2018. The theme of this year's 30 Days guide is 'symbols' in Islam.

This month sees the deadline for compliance with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). You will already, no doubt, have heard from many charities about their latest privacy policies and how they affect you. OSCAR has also published our own Privacy Notice on our website. Please read.

We have our first major exhibitions for 2018 coming up later this month, Big Church Day Out. Come and say hi in the Bazaar if you're going to be there. If you want to advertise your jobs/opportunities on our jobs board at BCDO, the deadline is Friday 18th May.

April 2018

How do we build partnerships with people in developing countries without creating dependency? Jim Harries, missionary in Africa, helps us understand ...

Need a 'How to' guide to get you started with offering English classes to those in your local community? Then this book from ChristianTEFL is for you. It's been reviewed for OSCAR by Steph Rollinson.

On our new website, one of the most extensive sections which brings together resources for a whole range of ministry activities, is 'Ministry Resources'. If you know of useful resources in any of these categories, let us know and we'll add them.

NorthStar have been providing educational support to families and small schools in over forty countries around the world for twenty years. Now they are adapting to today's online learning environment to deliver IGCSE courses effectively and efficiently for families around the world.

Welcome to OSCAR's new website. We hope you like it. Take a few moments to have a good look around and see what we've done. There's more to come but we want to hear what you think first. Please send us a note about your first impressions

March 2018

As people who travel frequently, mission workers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their travel, particularly as one of the five marks of mission is to care for creation. Our article this month, by Caroline Pomeroy of Climate Stewards, helps us answer questions about pollution mitigation like: Does offsetting work at all? Isn't it based on dodgy science? Can it make any realistic contribution to tackling climate change? Doesn't it cause more harm than good? ... and the big one, 'Would Jesus offset?'

The late great Billy Graham said 'True prayer is a way of life, not just for use in cases of emergency. Make it a habit, and when the need arises you will be in practice'. If you're looking for resources to improve your prayer life or lead others in prayer, the Christian Prayer Resources website is a real gift. It lists many mission related prayer resources but also general guidance and practical help on getting seriously into prayer

Whilst many things can be accessed online, there's no substitute for getting together with other people. OSCAR maintains a list of well over 100 events (conferences, retreats, courses and networking occasions) in the UK and around the world, for you to interact, share and learn with others. Why not find one near you and get along?

Ron and Bonnie Kotesky, member care consultants with Go International, have produced an amazing range of free, downloadable brochures on topics of interest to missionaries. These cover issues like transition, emotional stress, mental health, sexuality and relationships ... over 100 specific individual topics! Each brochure can be downloaded and printed too. Whatever stage you're at or difficulties you're facing in your mission experience, there is help and encouragement to see you through

OSCAR is planning a mission resource stand and jobs/opportunities board at many of the UK's major Christian conferences and festivals this year. The list includes Big Church Day Out, New Wine, Naturally Supernatural, One Event, David's Tent and CRE. Others are also in the pipeline. We are now accepting job card submissions for these. The first one, Big Church Day Out, is just over 2 months away so make sure our deadlines are in your diary if you want to advertise your jobs with us at these events

February 2018

Many mission workers live and work in potentially stressful situations, so it's important to know how you're reacting and what you can do to manage unusual stress levels. This month's guest article, the first from new organisation 'Thrive Worldwide', will help you recognise and manage your stress.

Good Neighbor Insurance provide a range of guides for mission workers and we have featured some of these before. This 60 page guide on travel medicine/medical concerns, available free online, is full of real-life tips and advice to keep you from becoming ill overseas. A 'must have' in the library of any mission worker, short or long term.

It's rare to find a novel that's written for teenagers and tackles important issues from a Christian perspective like the challenge of different faiths & cultures, forced migration, maturing and trauma. This book does it all and does it well. As one reviewer says 'I was moved to tears on several occasions. I highly recommend this book.'

One of the first questions that any international traveller has is 'will I be able to use my phone?' Your mobile phone provider may have certain roaming agreements with some countries, but what about outside of these? Before you rack up huge phone bills or get stuck somewhere with no signal or contact, check out OSCAR's Telephone page for a run down of your options.

OSCAR is running two day courses in London at the end of this month, both at Stewardship's offices. The first is Serving as Senders on Tuesday 20th and the second is Finance for Ministry on Thursday 22nd (in partnership with Stewardship). Both of these are designed to equip those who send and those who go into mission. If you're in or near London, it would be great to see you.

January 2018

A new year - a new start. New Year's Resolutions are all very well but they tend not to last. However, we worship a God of new starts and of fresh beginnings so now might be the time to apply some fresh thinking to your ministry at the start of 2018. Fiona Mearns from Stewardship is here to help us do this.

How do you support someone returning from mission work? There's so much more to do than meeting them at the airport. The process of re-entry takes months and the support of church, friends and family is crucial to make a healthy transition through the process. This new, practical book offers advice on ways of supporting that will benefit both parties. It includes personal stories, useful questions, practical advice and knowledge. It's available in paperback and Kindle formats.

In January, many people's thoughts turn to holidays. If you're in mission or ministry, you're probably looking for a holiday that's both affordable and conducive to Christians. OSCAR has a growing list of such locations in the UK for you. We've also recently added a number of properties from the former service Off Duty.

OSCAR holds the world's most comprehensive global mission guest house list. Some of these are owned by Christian organisations, some of them are private or commercial hotels owned and/or run by Christians. We have been updating this list ready for 2018 and the new version is now available. Just contact us explaining your mission credentials and we will email it to you.

Did you know that over 450 Christian organisations and churches now manage their own information on the OSCAR website? Each has an account to both update their organisational details and add opportunities/vacancies. We also have a large number of organisations adding their events to our events list, making it the UK's most dynamic source of 'what's on' mission-wise. You too could be a part of all this!