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How To Support Your Missionaries

MoneyWise

Christian talk radio with Rob West

September 5, 2022

Jesus giving the Great Commission to His disciples in Matthew 28 should be a constant reminder to support mission work. Today on MoneyWise, we’ll talk about some ways Our team recently came across a great article by the Gospel Coalition about how we can best support mission work in the field. Let’s go through a few of them. Interestingly, not included in the list is sending short-term teams, like a group that a church might put together over a spring or summer break. The article points out that these short-term teams spring from a sincere desire to help, and they most certainly do! But they need to be carefully coordinated with the folks in the field so as to not distract them from ongoing ministry. Just hosting a church team may put a strain on missionaries with limited resources. We need to make sure that sending a team on a short-term basis doesn’t interfere with the day-to-day mission work. WHAT SHOULD WE DO TO HELP? 1. PRAY! Obviously, first is regular prayer and letting your missionaries know that you’re praying for them and their work. If a missionary sends you a prayer request by email, make sure you read it carefully and follow up with prayer during service. Let the request be known in your regular church email to members, also. 2. FINANCIAL SUPPORT: While the occasional single donation is always appreciated, churches and individuals need to commit to regular and consistent financial support for their missionaries. This is crucial for eliminating the worry that missionaries often have about maintaining their support and whether they’ll be sent home to raise funds, something that most missionaries dread having to do. Missionaries face many challenges, including cultural and linguistic differences, resistance, persecution, and often harsh living conditions. We can take away at least one of their concerns with regular funding. And keep in mind that financial support blesses you, as well as your missionaries. 3. CARE PACKAGES: Next on the list is doing something about the homesickness that often plagues missionaries. The article recommends sending an occasional care package to your missionaries. First, ask them if there’s anything they need or miss from home. This could range from sermon development materials to foods, spices, toys, and games. Pack them up and send those packages overseas to bless your missionaries. 4. TRANSITION HELP: The next way to help them is during their furloughs or home assignments. Often, these aren’t particularly restful times for missionaries. They have to cope with cultural transition and all of the logistical problems of returning home. You can help your missionaries cope with the stress of returning home in any number of ways, like donating frequent flier miles, picking them up at the airport, setting up housing for them, finding a car they can borrow while they’re home, or help with child care if they have to make the rounds to several supporting churches. You may have a professional skill you can provide at no cost, like medical or legal assistance. In short, make their needs known to your church and encourage members to volunteer their time and other resources. Now, if you really want to visit a missionary overseas, make it a vision trip, where you try to acquaint yourself with the area and work that’s underway. You can then return home and share that vision with your fellow church members to encourage more and faithful support. If you are planning a short term team visit, don’t go into it with any preconceived notions about the kind of help that’s needed. Be sure to consult with your missionary about what kind of work will really be helpful. And if a monsoon hits while you’re there, be ready to scrap your plans and help mop up. When a catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, short term missionaries who thought they’d be helping with building projects found themselves helping medical missionaries treat victims. 5. MEDIUM-TERM: The next item on the list is being or sending a medium-term missionary. This may be something for retirees to consider if they’re financially able to spend one or two years in the field. That’s enough time to learn a language and make a significant contribution. Medium-term missionaries are able to forge meaningful relationships with locals that will help sustain the ministry in the long run. Even just the ability to teach English to locals served by the ministry could be a big help. There are plenty of ways you can support missionaries! Hebrews 13: 16 tells us, Do not' neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● How should you prepare for the cost of long-term care? ● How do you determine when you need to establish a trust? ● What should you consider when determining whether to sell a home or keep it as a rental property?

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