While serving as missionaries, my wife and I would reach out to others for some of our needs. We understood that ministry is accomplished through partnering together with others. Often, though, without regular requests and reminders, those who heard our requests quickly forgot about them. Yet we, like many missionaries, found ourselves either too busy to keep up on requests or tired of taking the time and effort to make “the ask,” especially since we assumed those whom we asked should be involved without a reminder.
With that said, here are five things you can always do for the missionary even when they have stopped asking.
Pray for missionaries and their families, both their immediate family on the field and their extended family left behind. Pray for your missionary by name. Pray for their ministry. Pray for the people with whom they have contact. Pray for their safety, sanity, and spirituality. Pray. When they do give specific areas for prayer, remember to pray.
Give a monthly, annual, or one-time monetary gift to their specific ministry. Most sending organizations have easy ways to give a tax deductible gift through many medians (online, mail, etc.) with many forms of payment. You may not be able or specifically called to go, but you can give. Missionaries cannot do what they do on the field without regular monetary support.
Share Their Ministry With Others
Tell others about what they are doing. Share their blogs and newsletters with others. Write a post on Facebook or another social media platform that points people to them and their ministry. Share their website with others. Get others excited about the ministry you are a part of through their work. However, make sure to be cognizant of those missionaries who are in risky areas where it could cost them their ministry or life if they are known as “missionaries.” Don’t share things they have advised you not to share, and always use discretion.
Read Their Blogs and Newsletters
Blogs, updates, and newsletters take effort. They are created for supporters and used to stay connected to those who pray for, give to, and support their ministry. Don’t disregard them. Depending on the programs used to create and send them, missionaries likely can see who and how many people open their emails and newsletters. And truly, why wouldn’t you want to keep up with what your missionary is doing?
Attend Their Stateside Events
Even though it is often exhausting for them during stateside visits, missionaries want to see you and share with you. They could be resting with family or doing fun things they can’t do in their ministry country, but they choose to minister to you even when they are stateside. If they reach out to you or plan an event, show up.
We were fortunate to have many people praying for us regularly and reminding us that they were thinking of us. Many gave sacrificially and told others about what God was doing in our ministry. We were always encouraged by those who responded to our newsletters to let us know they were still engaged with our partnership. We felt loved and appreciated when others would plan or help with a stateside event. It communicated to us that they wanted to be with us and that others did too.
What other things do missionaries ask for that you can be a part of in order to partner with and encourage them?
Kevin S. Hall is a graduate of Cedarville University (B.A.) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Adv. MDiv). He is currently pursuing a PhD at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Kevin is a former police officer and has served in Mexico as a missionary. He is married to Bethany, and they have three children.
Feature image by IMB.