Posts Tagged With: missionary care

10 ways to encourage a missionary

  1. Pray for them. And I don’t mean saying, “God bless the missionaries, wherever they are” at a meal now and then. I mean, really PRAY for them. They face the same daily struggles as you, with the added stress of being in a cross-cultural context. They face isolation and loneliness. They get discouraged and feel forgotten. Pray for their spiritual, mental, emotional, and relational struggles, not just for their health or safety.
  2. Write them an email. Let them know you are praying. Don’t just write when you hear from them. Write them out of the blue, and let them know you are thinking of them and you care about them.
  3. Call or skype them. Find out what the time difference is, find out a way to get in touch with them via phone or internet calling, and do it! Call them and tell them you are praying for them (if you actually are). Ask how they are really doing, and…
  4. Listen. Hear what they’re saying. Hear what they’re not saying. Find out how life is really going, and what things they can’t write in a prayer letter. Listen to their stories and put yourself in their shoes. How are they feeling? What’s really hard for them right now? What are they excited about? Ask questions to draw them out. Let them process life. And listen.
  5. Send a video message to encourage them. Video yourself and/or other people sharing an encouraging Bible passage, praying for them, or telling them how much you miss them and love them. It’s the closest thing to a long-distance hug. (If they don’t have internet access, put the video on a flash drive and mail it to them).
  6. Send them a package. Find out what things they miss, what things ship well, and what would just tickle their hearts to see in a beat-up cardboard box on the other side of the world.
  7. Visit them. Fly (or drive) to where they are, and get a glimpse into their world. Don’t take a dozen people and try to do a huge project (unless they’ve asked you to), go with your family or a few friends and just go to encourage them. Seeing what life is like for them on a day-to-day basis will not only expand your world, it will help you know how to better pray for them and encourage them.
  8. Give them a break. Send them on a vacation. When they’re on furlough, offer to watch their kids and pay for them to go on a date. Encourage them to rest. Try to lighten their load.
  9. Help with practical needs. The possibilities of how to do this are endless. Use your skills and gifts to help them in really tangible ways. Help them with computer problems. Offer to help them put together their update video or PowerPoint. Provide housing while they’re on furlough. Help them find a vehicle to use for furlough. Babysit for them. Help them set up their appointments with churches and other supporters. Fill their car with gas. Wash their car. Help them set up doctor and dentist appointments. Get school supplies for their kids. Buy them groceries.
  10. Advocate for them. Encourage other people to get involved in their lives and ministry. Recruit other people to pray for them. Challenge others to support them regularly. Find out what needs they have, and get your friends and family involved in meeting those needs.
  11. (BONUS) Walk with God. One of the most encouraging things for a missionary to see is someone who is passionately following God. Your enthusiasm and commitment to being a part of what God is doing will be contagious and refreshing. And, chances are, if you’re walking with God, when He puts it on your heart to encourage a missionary, you’ll hear Him. And do it.

If you have more ideas that you’ve seen work well to encourage missionaries, share them below in a comment!

 

Categories: ministry | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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