Findley, S. (Host). West, S. (Host). (2019-2022). Resiliency. Audio Podcast. Antioch Resiliency.

Reviewed by Melanie Smith, IMB Field Personnel, Asia Pacific Rim.

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Resiliency is a Christian podcast hosted by Steve Findley and Silas West of Antioch Ministries International in Waco, Texas.1 Steve and Silas are compassionate believers who are strong advocates for member care. They invite field workers and other supporting Christian experts on their podcast to encourage field workers as they discuss a myriad of topics such as marriage and parenting, health and wellness, community building, education, and maintaining relationships in their home countries.

The greatest asset of this podcast is the strong theological foundation from which each guest speaks. Each guest shares his or her personal experience grounded in a Christ-centered worldview which gives way to joyful encouragement to those who listen. The range of topics would aid all demographics of missionaries, as the podcast features married couples, young single women, empty nesters, and widowers. It is disappointing that this was a limited podcast run that ended in 2022 because there are so many more topics and interviews that could be helpful to new and seasoned field workers alike.

I found several episodes to be particularly helpful to me. As a parent of two third culture kids (TCKs), I was grateful for episode 47 called “Is My Kid Going to be Okay?” Along with wearing many other hats, Melissa Shipman is a TCK education consultant who supports families navigating education opportunities and challenges on the field. She offers advice for families seeking different education avenues such as utilizing pre-field planning and giving grace to both parents and children in the education process. Likewise, “Grace for Today,” episode 64, documented an interview with Daniel and Melissa about parenting overseas. They shared about how their simplistic living impacts their kids’ lives, fostering flexibility and contentment in them.

“Run for Your Life: The Benefits of Exercise to Increase Resiliency” was episode 5 featuring Rachel Keener, who works for a university counseling center. Rachel’s research in resiliency proves the power of regular exercise, and she specifically sees the correlation of regular exercise when living in a foreign culture. She gives scientific evidence of exercise helping our brains and bodies with high-stress situations, language learning, and building community.

In episode 56 entitled “Keys to Long Haul Living,” Dr. Burritt Hess talks about establishing healthy patterns around spiritual, physical, and family wellness on the field. These include taking regular spiritual retreats and meeting regularly with a trusted spiritual advisor as well as the value of maintaining physical health through our eating habits and exercise. These disciplines and others can align us when we feel like we’re misaligned and encourage us to continue in our host culture. Dr. Hess also shared from his challenges of focusing too much on work and neglecting personal or family care. He suggested finding activities that rehumanize us and having periodic family conversations to intentionally discuss any negative patterns that may need to be changed.

Episode 61, “Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You,” and episode 57 entitled, “From Solitude to Community to Ministry,” both gave me real-life examples of ways to interact with my host culture while strengthening my own spiritual disciplines and growing in my relationship with the Lord. The guest of episode 57, Rachel Dyachenko, serves in Moldova. She recounts her early years on the field when she would overcommit herself in ministry and then experience burn out. Rachel had to learn not to overcommit, to value her “yes” and “no,” while also giving herself grace to see areas of growth.

I would recommend Resiliency to any Christian field worker seeking encouragement or to gain another’s point of view. The guests spoke from their own knowledge and experience while maintaining the Gospel at the forefront of their interviews. I was personally challenged by each of the guest interviews and believe this resource will be a helpful tool for field workers maintaining or restoring resiliency on the field.