We are missionaries/pastors but we also support other missionaries, both personally and as a church. I find it fascinating how the Body of Christ is such a complex network, connecting the supporters with the laborers. We are just a small part but we help them, because you help us.
Anyway, I thought I'd post a few ideas here. Please take a moment and as you read them pray for an opportunity to bless the missionaries in your life.
- Care packages are probably the first thing that comes to mind. We LOVE care packages! They seem to magically lift the burdens that often accompany ministry life and they put a smile on our faces for days! I think all missionaries would agree. =) There's just something special about getting something (anything!) from overseas and sharing it with our friends.
- Visit them! Get a passport, buy a plane ticket and VISIT them. It's better than "just sending the money". Trust me.
- Honor your financial commitments to them. Resist the urge to make a financial promise on a whim. We plan our lives and ministry around the amount of money we receive each month and that's very difficult to do if the money is not somewhat dependable. If for some unforeseen reason you are not able to honor your financial agreement, tell them. It's OK. Don't avoid them and pretend like nothing happened. When possible go above and beyond what you promise, like one of our supporters often does.
- Remember them at Christmas time. I don't know if this is a universal thing or not but our support is lowest at Christmas.
- Be hospitable. Open up your house to them and let it be their home away from home during furlough. Furlough is often accompanied with fund-raising, which can be stressful at times (especially for children, with all the travel, etc). Let your home be a haven where they can relax and be themselves. Missionaries are people, too.
Do you have any ideas? I'd love to hear them!