Ron & Bonnie Koteskey
this link to read this page as a pdf.
We taught for 35 years in Christian
colleges as well as in public and Christian elementary schools. Bonnie taught
elementary school as well as teacher education at the college level, and Ron
taught psychology at the undergraduate level in college. Our three children are
all married and have families of their own. As member care consultants with GO InterNational of Wilmore, KY, we are now retired and, as volunteers, we provide member care for missionaries.
We are not licensed health care professionals, but we emphasize care,
encouragement, growth, and prevention of problems rather than treatment of
severe problems. We provide such care to anyone, anytime, and anywhere at no
charge for our time, usually providing our own transportation to the nearest
airport and asking that those we are helping provide ground transportation,
lodging, and food. Rather than working as professionals for pay, we provide
member care as amateurs in the original sense of the word—out of love rather
than for money. We have a mailing list of about 175 prayer supporters as well
as about 55 financial supporters.
We do whatever we can to help missionaries. We do not belong to any sending
agency but help others as someone with no official connection to their agency.
Listed below are things we are currently doing, but we are always open to new
ways to help. Let us begin with the most general forms of help, continue with
helping missionaries through their years of service, and end with specific
Websites. We have two websites, www.missionarycare.com
Both websites contain brochures and books which people anywhere in the world
can visit to read, download, print, copy and distribute the information free of
charge to anyone who can use it. www.missionarycare.com
freely uses the term “missionary” and is easily found when people search
for missionary care. www.crossculturalworkers.com
avoids the term so that anyone working in a culture where accessing
material on missionaries would endanger their ministry can visit freely.
Brochures. Both websites contain 62 “brochures” on
topics relevant to living in other cultures and working as missionaries.
These brochures may be downloaded as .pdf files and distributed to anyone as
long as they given to others free of charge.
E-Books. The websites contain E-books which can be downloaded
free of charge by anyone, anytime, anywhere.
- What Missionaries Ought o Know…: A Handbook for Life
and Service is a compilation of many of the brochures about missionary
- Missionary Marriage Issues is a compilation of many
of the brochures about married life for couples serving on the field.
- Before you get “Home”: Preparing for Reentry is
written for use several months before returning to your passport country.
- Coming “Home”: The Reentry Transition can be used
as preparation for debriefing in a group, when being debriefed by an
understanding person, or to debrief yourself.
- Third Culture Kids and Adolescence: Cultural Creations
is written specifically for adolescent TCKs. Of course, the
information in it is also applicable to other adolescents.
- Understanding Adolescence is a companion book
written specifically for parents of adolescents.
- We’re Going Home: Reentry for Elementary Children
is a story and activities for children 6-12 years of age.
Don’t Want to Go Home: Parent’s Guide for Reentry for Elementary
Children is a companion book written specifically for parents to help
them assist in their children’s reentry.
- Raising Resilient MKs: Resources for Caregivers,
Parents, and Teachers was edited by Joyce Bowers and first published
by ACSI in 1998.
Database. A database with more than 800
references to published material about missionary member care is on www.missionarycare.com .
Those visiting this database can find reading lists or annotated bibliographies
on any of more than 100 topics. They can also find lists of materials
published by particular authors.
Missionary Care by Radio.
Trans World Radio broadcasts in 180 languages to reach people
through radio. TWR has begun a daily 15-minute program in English with
broadcasts reaching from Central Asia through North Africa, and you can find
out more by visiting www.membercareradio.org.
TWR is adapting the brochures to a format suitable for broadcast to let
Christians working in this area of the world know that they are neither alone
Orientation. In an effort to decrease
attrition, we participate in the training of new missionaries. We have made
presentations on expectations, generational differences, moral purity, and
conflict resolution. Of course, during our time at orientation we are
available to talk privately with any missionary candidates who want to see us.
Seminars. We present information on
various topics to a variety of missionary groups. We have done seminars
on third culture kids, leadership, generational differences, conflict, anger,
adolescence, maintaining mental and physical health, maintaining sexual purity,
and psychology from a Christian perspective. We have made these
presentations to groups as varied as the entire missionary force of one agency,
missionaries on a field, seminary students, university students, field
directors, national pastors, retirees, and appointees.
Missionaries in Our Home. Missionaries
have stopped by our home to discuss issues that concern them. We have
talked with individuals and couples about a variety of topics ranging from
grief to interpersonal relationships to debriefing when they return to the
states. These are often people who have met us in larger group settings
such as conferences, retreats, orientations, seminars, or perhaps discovered us
on our web page.
Missionaries on the Field (from Our Home).
Missionaries serving on their fields are unable to stop by our home, so we have
communicated with them in a variety of ways. Of course, telephone
conversations are always helpful, and long distance rates between most
countries are now quite reasonable. E-mail is free, but the time between sending
a message and receiving a reply may be rather long.
On-Site Visits. At the invitation of
missionaries, we visit them on the field to help them cope with various
issues. We do this only if everyone involved wants us to come, and we
have the blessing of the mission agency. At these times we have talked
with individuals, couples, and groups of missionaries. We are not sent by
the agency, but go only when invited by the missionaries themselves.
Care of Missionaries in a Geographical Area.
We are seeing the realization of a dream we have had for several years, a dream
of providing care for missionaries from many different agencies in a given
place. We go on a regular basis to the same missionaries so that they
will get to know us and feel free to talk with us, rather than just going to
help in a crisis situation. We visit Bolivia on a regular basis, talking
with 30-35 missionaries from five different mission agencies each time.
Reentry. We facilitate reentry retreats
for missionaries in transition as they return to the USA. This includes a
group debriefing as we talk for two days about where they have been, where they
are now and where they are going.
Mission Conferences. We
have participated in mission conferences when invited to give churches suggestions
on how to care for missionaries above and beyond prayer and financial support.
Missionary Kids. Since we live near a
college that has a rather large number of TCKs, we were very involved with them
while we were teaching at the college. Of course, now that we are retired
and travel more, we are unable to keep up the same active relationship.
However, we do let them know that we are available to help them however we can,
and they contact us for everything from taxes to borrowing things to personal