Resource Reviews


In This Issue: When following Jesus doesn’t make sense

  1. FILM/EVENT: The Insanity of God
  2. DVD: Transformation of a Kentucky Mountain Town
  3. BOOK: Healing the Wounds of Trauma
  4. EVENT: Debriefing Retreat for Missionaries
  5. EVENTS: Upcoming Conferences, Courses, and More


Some months we have more books to review than you can possibly read (sorry… kind of!) This month, though, it’s films. One of the two documentaries mentioned in this edition is only in US theaters, and just for a one-night showing (so far), and the other one is only available for purchase on DVD, though you can watch an extended trailer online.

We also came across a few more videos you might be able to use, all of them new offerings from media ministries we’ve featured previously. They are online and include additional material you can use for group discussions. Take a look at these (and other films from these groups).

  • Lift Up Your Eyes, from Moving Works, is a short film that tells a story about church planting in Quebec; French with English subtitles.
  • The Ordinanance, from Deidox, is 32 minutes long and tells the story of some Texas churches and cities taking unprecedented action to protect those in need from the payday loan industry.
  • The Caribbean nation of Grenada and the young African country of South Sudan are the focus of two beautiful new short prayer videos from Prayercast.


FILM/EVENT: The Insanity of God

Insanity of GodThe film The Insanity of God, based on the book of the same name, is showing in theaters around the US in a special one-night event on Tuesday, August 30. Live in the US? Find a showing near you.

Source: LifeWay Films

The Insanity of God is the true story of missionaries Nik and Ruth Ripken [who served in the Horn of Africa and beyond]. After the death of their son, this ordinary couple journeys into the depths of the persecuted church, asking the question: Is Jesus worth it?

How does faith survive, let alone flourish in the places of the world that are overcome with the darkness of sin, despair, and hopelessness? Join the Ripkens as they tell the story of being taught by believers in persecution “how to follow Jesus, how to love Jesus, and how to walk with him day by day even when it doesn’t make sense.”

The film is based on the best-selling book The Insanity of God and is released in association with the [Southern Baptist] International Mission Board. The movie will be the first theatrical release from LifeWay Films when it opens in theaters across the United States on August 30 as a one-night event.

» Learn more or buy tickets. You might also want to check out the book and its sequel as well as a related six-session small group study. At this writing, the Kindle edition of The Insanity of God is just US$.99.

DVD: Transformation of a Kentucky Mountain Town

Source: The Sentinel Group

The vast majority of American Christians will go their entire lives without ever setting foot in a genuinely transformed community, says The Sentinel Group: They are able to apprehend revival intellectually, but they have never felt it.

It’s Only Cookie Dough focuses on the previously depressed town of Lynch, Kentucky and what happened there when people began to really pray. Like the other Transformations documentary-style videos, it tells an encouraging story about what God can do to change hearts, meet desperate needs, and even heal the land itself.

» Watch the trailer, learn more, or purchase the DVD from The Sentinel Group for US$19.99. It’s 85 minutes long. For another look at this region see their previous documentary, An Appalachian Dawn.

BOOK: Healing the Wounds of Trauma, How the Church Can Help

Source: American Bible Society

Healing the Wounds of Trauma: How the Church Can Help, Expanded Edition 2016, by Harriet Hill, Margaret Hill, Dick Baggé, and Pat Miersma. American Bible Society, 2016. 144 pages.

This book was first published in 2004, adapted from a workbook developed by four members of Wycliffe Bible Translators and used in trauma healing seminars offered to African leaders (now all over the world). Revised several times since then, it offers a practical and field-tested approach to engaging the Bible and mental health principles to find God’s healing for wounds of the heart.

Leaders in churches and ministries caring for people who have suffered horrific events like war, civil unrest, ethnic conflict, rape, and natural disasters may find this a helpful resource. It can be used to help individuals struggling with suffering.

» Learn more or purchase for US$6.99 from the American Bible Society (or elsewhere). See also a related work, Healing Children’s Wounds of Trauma.

» Here’s another tried-and-true tool that may be useful for cross-cultural workers in over their heads: Where There Is No Doctor is now available in Haitian Kreyol in addition to English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Urdu.

EVENT: Debriefing Retreat for Missionaries

Source: Paracletos

Recalibrate! is a debriefing retreat for singles, couples, or families with children over 13 who have recently returned to the United States from the field, whether permanently or temporarily. They still have openings for this year’s event to be held November 6-12 near Cincinnati, Ohio. Hurry, though: registration closes August 31.

» Learn more or sign up. Also note that several of the events below relate to missionary debriefing, in case this one doesn’t fit your needs or schedule.

EVENTS: Conference, Training, and More

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar


September 1, Ministry Evaluation Toolbox (online). Webinar provided by Missio Nexus.

September 8, Rethinking the Question: “Who Is a Missionary?” (online). Webinar provided by Missio Nexus.

September 12 to December 11, Encountering the World of Islam (online). Regularly offered course on embracing Muslims with the love of Christ.

September 14, Missionary Debriefing, an Essential and Valuable Gift (online). Free webinar from Sixteen:Fifteen.

September 14-15, Support Raising Bootcamp (Lombard, IL, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

September 14-20, Traction Conference for Men (Wilderswil, Switzerland). Provided by Catalyst International.

September 15 to October 13, Foundations of Media Strategy (online). Mission Media U course to develop outreach strategy and effective content.

September 16-18, BAM Conference (Los Angeles, CA, USA). For anyone interested in business as mission. Provided by the BAM Resource Team.

September 21 to October 19, Story in Ministry (online) Mission Media U course takes you from theory to project.

September 29 to October 1, Mission Leaders Conference (Louisville, KY, USA). Provided by Missio Nexus. Pre-conference workshops on various topics also planned.

September 30 to October 2, Entrepreneurial Readiness Workshop (Colorado Springs, CO, USA). Sponsored by The Navigators Global Enterprise Network.


October 3 to February 12, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course (online). Provided on a regular basis by the Perspectives Study Program.

October 5 to November 30, Mobilizer Equipping School (Chiang Mai, Thailand). Provided by Student Volunteer Movement 2.

October 7-8, Missions Fest Seattle (Bellevue, WA, USA). Annual community event.

October 8, Costly Call: Following Jesus in a Hostile World (Lynnfield, MA, USA). One-day event sponsored by New England Perspectives Study Program and the J. Christy Wilson, Jr. Center for World Missions.

October 10-11, Support Raising Bootcamp (Tulsa, OK, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions.

October 11-14, Support Raising Leaders Conference (Tulsa, OK, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions (and partners).

October 11 to November 8, Expand Your Mission Through Media (for Women) (online) Mission Media U course to develop a media project plan.

October 13, Protecting Your Ministry from Sexual Identity and Gender Issues (online). Webinar provided by Missio Nexus.

October 13-15, Open B4T Expo (Chicago, IL, USA). Transforming nations through business.

October 14-15, People Raising Conference (Oak Brook, IL, USA). Be equipped for raising personal support.

October 14-16, Evangelical Missiological Society (Dallas, TX, USA). Annual meeting.

October 16-21, ABIDE (Joplin, MO, USA). Re-entry and debriefing for singles, couples, and families provided by TRAIN International.

October 17-19, Excellerate Conference (Alpharetta, GA, USA). A mission conference for church leaders. Hosted by North Point Ministries.

» View the calendar or submit an addition or correction.

Resource Reviews


In this issue:

  1. VIDEO: Peace in the Midst of Chaos
  2. BOOK: Far from Cold
  3. ARTICLE: Take Time to Refresh Your Missions Team
  4. BOOK: Seeking Refuge
  5. EVENTS: Upcoming Conferences, Courses, and More


Does it seem as if every edition of Missions Catalyst goes out to a world characterized by more trouble than it was the week before? That’s probably an illusion! This week, though, we’re highlighting resources designed to speak peace and help us find purpose in the midst of chaos, and remember the words of Jesus from John 14:27:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.



VIDEO: Peace in the Midst of Chaos

Be Still screen shot

Source: Moving Works

Though the world is by plagued by suffering due to the realities of sin, death, and evil, God is calling us to seek refuge in the only place it can truly be found. Be Still, a short video based on Psalm 46 from Moving Works, can spark discovery of God’s presence and purposes. Could you use it in your church, class, or group? The related discussion guide may help.

Other new short, inspirational films from Moving Works which you might be able to use include The Mustard Seed, about the nature of the kingdom of God, and Death Where Is Your Sting?, the testimony of a Buddhist woman who came to Christ.

» Learn more about Moving Works and watch or download videos.

BOOK: Far from Cold

Far from ColdSource: Peregrini Press

Far from Cold, by Gillian Newham. Peregrini Press, 2016. 208 pages.

This memoir tells the story of Mark and Gillian’s journey from Britain to Mongolia where they were part of the amazing early decades of the modern Mongolian church. The first-generation Mongolian believers and churches the Newhams serve among frequently struggle greatly and sometimes fall away or fall apart before coming back and moving from early enthusiasm to seasoned faith and maturity. This book illustrates what many frontier church planters experience: a ministry that can be amazingly rewarding but also humbling and frustrating: two steps forward, then three steps back.

Note that this book comes from the new, small publishing group that brought us Forged on the Field, Letters from Global Mission Leaders. Expected to be first in “a series of books sharing authentic stories of honest Christian pilgrims,” this one is well worth reading, especially if you have a heart for this part of the world about which relatively little has been written.

» Learn more or purchase this book from Amazon (or elsewhere) for US$9.99 (Kindle edition) or US$16.99 (paperback).

ARTICLE: Take Time to Refresh Your Missions Team

Source: Catalyst Services

Serve in church leadership or on a church mission team or committee? Check out the latest edition of Postings. This one’s for you.

“Summer may be a busy time for your church missions leadership team. But summer is also a crucial time to refresh your team for the coming year. Here are 12 ideas to reenergize the hearts and minds of your leaders.”

» Read the article (a three-page PDF). See also other editions in the Postings gallery of archives.