We are missionaries, but a good portion of what we do is missionary support. As we travel, we are blessed to see the many different ways the Lord works around the world. We also have the pleasure of getting to know, support, and encourage the awesome people who are joining him in his work.
I often hear people wondering and discussing reaching out to missionaries. There are some very simple and practical things you can do as individuals, families, and Bible classes to encourage a missionary.
Five Ways to Encourage a Missionary
First and foremost, PRAY. Knowing that you have people lifting you and your work up to the Lord is a powerful motivator.
Stay in Contact with the Missionary
COMMUNICATE. If you do take the time to pray, tell the missionary. Knowing that someone is thinking of you, can change the course of an entire day or week. Loneliness is one of the most common things missionaries experience.
Show an Interest in Their Lives
When missionaries visit, TAKE TIME TO LEARN ABOUT THEIR LIVES. Listen to the stories, ask about the culture, challenges, triumphs, and needs. It is hard enough coming back. No one likes to feel that no one notices or cares.
Send a Thoughtful Note
In this technologically driven world, receiving a handwritten note in the mail is like finding hidden treasure. Again, this shows that we haven’t been forgotten and that we matter. Take the time to SEND A HANDWRITTEN NOTE.
Send a Special Care Package
MAKE A SEASONAL CARE PACKAGE. Celebrations vary around the world. They are also so much a part of culture that being a part of them becomes a part of who you are at times. Many missionaries miss these moments the most. Be mindful of the season and make a holiday care package. Send some things from home that are seasonal. For example: candy corn at Halloween, Peeps at Easter and candy canes at Christmas. If there are kids, a few stickers could bring happiness for days. Even better, send things that aren’t so easy to get outside of the US. Here are a few common things people miss:
- Canned Pumpkin
- Evaporated Milk
- Peppermints (that don’t taste menthol)
- Brown Sugar
- Seasonal Napkins
- Cranberry Sauce
- Girl scout Cookies
Whatever you do or think of will be a blessing. These are just ideas to help get you started.
What are some things you have done or heard about in regards to encouraging missionaries?