Many missionaries face discouragement, feeling they have no one to turn to. This is more true than most of us imagine. Especially those who live on limited offerings struggling to make ends meet.
They need encouragement, and here are 8 simple ways you can do this:
Encourage your missionaries.
Encourage the missionaries you know, or that your church supports. If you don’t know any, or your church doesn’t support any, talk to your pastor about getting involved in this needy area.
Pray for your missionaries.
Prayer really belongs at the top of the list, because it is the greatest need. Both for the missionaries, and for the people they’re trying to reach. Pray for their needs. Pray for the people they ask you to pray for. And pray for the doors that they need to see opened.
Stay in touch.
Write to them. Call them. Even send them (and especially their kids) thoughtful little things. Even little things like bookmarks can brighten the day! With all our technology, this has gotten easier than ever, right??
If they have a blog, follow it. And let them know you do by leaving comments, or interacting in some way! How can you pray effectively for missionaries, if you don’t know what’s going on?
Be their lifeline of fellowship.
Many missionaries live and work in isolated areas, with little or no fellowship. Even notes or Scripture verses show you’re thinking and praying for them. It helps a lot!
Help their kids.
Missionary kids give up a lot for their parents’ choice. Far from friends and family. And it’s harder to make friends across language and culture barriers. Even dollar store goodies stuffed in a padded envelope show them others remember and care!
Show real interest in their work.
It’s not just their life, it’s their heart. Find out what’s going on. What they’d like to do, and see happen. Learn of their struggles, their fears, their burdens.
Keep in mind how limited their income often is.
It’s hard seeing their own children go without needed clothing, or the people around them struggling to put food on the table.
Share your life and everyday news.
It’s hard being far from friends and family. They need to know how you are, and what’s going on, and how they can best pray for you.
It’s really not that hard to lift up the weary hands. But communication is key!
And we’ve always found that, in encouraging others, we get uplifted up in the process!