5 Ways We Can Serve Our Missionaries
by Phil Martin
Philip and I spent one year in Taiwan and during that time we were blessed to have a great support system. When we look back we can see how God used our pastors, families, and friends through a variety of ways. Now, we are in the states and we want to replicate what was shown to us to the missionaries who are still on the field. And for us to encourage you to do the same.
It’s great if you are the kind of church or individual that sends an email, card, or gift to your missionary. However, it’s not hard to believe that most of us forget about our missionaries. Even worse, what if the only time we contact our missionaries and care for them is during the holiday season.
Here are 5 ways we can serve our missionaries…all the time, anytime.
1. Stay in touch with them
Modern technology makes it easier than ever to stay connected. Whether you are a pastor, church member, or a friend ask to Skype with your missionary. When time doesn’t permit you can send a message or email. It doesn’t have to be personal, long, or super encouraging every time. Keep this in mind, the consistency and the content of what you ask can communicate volumes. Asking questions about ministry shows interest and care for what they are doing.
2. Pray for them
Missionaries aren’t superheroes. They need grace just like you and me. You want to send an email to let them know are you praying for them. That’s wonderful. But if time permits, make it specific. Open their newsletter and let them know that you are praying for . Let them know you prayed for them at your bible study or at church on Sunday. Even if your missionary is 10,000 miles away, this can easily make them feel that you are right there with them
3. Send gifts to them
Knowing birthdays and anniversaries are great opportunities to send gifts. Learn what their favorite snack, candy, candle scent, toy etc. is. You can ask them what item is difficult to get in their country or what item they miss the most and send that specific one. You can never go wrong with sending an E-card or Amazon gift card.
4. Provide financially for them
Along with prayer, supporting them with monetary amounts are extremely helpful. Whether it’s through monthly giving, a spontaneous donation, or meeting a specific need. Sending money IS an answer to prayer for missionaries on the field. Families get bigger, churches evolve, car breaks down, unexpected hospital visits, life happens. Any amount big or small is received with much gratitude.
5. Go visit them
If you or your church has the resources to send groups throughout the year to go serve your missionary, do it. Opportunities such as these build excitement within the congregation. Talk to your missionary about times of the year works best for them and go.