12 Ways to Love on Missionaries

12 Ways to Love on Missionaries

By Lauren Biggs

It is a beautiful thing to be able to show love to our missionaries who are serving all around the world. Whether it’s through prayer, financial support, or simply encouraging words, showing love and support to those on the front lines of missions can go a long way.

We asked our missionaries, “What are simple ways that others have loved on you as a missionary?”

They sent in some wonderful examples and ideas. Here are 12 ways you can love on our missionaries, encouraging them in their mission to spread God’s love to the world. Choose two or three and make a commitment to doing them this year. See the impact it has on a missionary halfway around the world!

1) Responding to newsletter emails

“We didn’t realize how sweet it was until someone took a moment to respond to our newsletter. It encouraged us in knowing that someone is reading them!” (Jacob and Hailee Voltz, IM Missionaries to Bulgaria)

2) Engaging with social media posts

Taking a moment to “like” or comment on a social media post from a missionary shows them that you are engaged with their posts. It means a lot for them to know you are praying for their shared need or interested in what they are sharing about their missionary journey.

3) Ministering to the ones they love and miss

Amanda Simmons in Kenya shared, “This is the absolute best thing anyone has ever done for us while we were away on the field. This person became an extension of us and loved on those we missed the most (for us, a grandchild or an adult child – for others, it could be a mom, sister, or whoever). This person bought back-to-school supplies for our granddaughter and said it was from us, even though we couldn’t be there.

Judy Bailey in Japan shares another story. “When Ken and I returned to Japan in August of 2021 my elderly dad was left with no relatives nearby. Very dear friends and supporters asked if they could “adopt” my Dad as their family and become his support group in our place. For the next year, they called and visited him every week, took him to doctors’ visits and out to eat, drove him to church, and kept my brothers and me updated on what was happening through texts and photos. This continued right up until the morning my Dad passed away! We can never repay them for this wonderful gift of loving Dad and my family! By offering to check on an elderly relative they lifted that burden from our shoulders.”

4) Sending packages with familiar personal items and toiletries

Being sick is hard in another country. Bethany shared, “We had people send us medicine for the kids. It seems like such a little thing but having medicines that you are familiar with and are in a language you can understand was the best thing for this worried mama!”

Missionaries also miss familiar toiletries like their favorite deodorant, makeup, hand cream, or just a pack of gum from their home country.

5) Surprising missionary kids with small gifts while on the field

Myriam Reeves in France said, “It’s exciting when people send little things from the U.S. like Ranch or Chick-fil-A sauce.” Another missionary said, “Once a month our kids receive a card with stickers in it. It’s such a little thing but makes my kids so happy.” Rusty Carney in Japan also shared, “One church has sent our family board games and Cracker Barrel checkers with loving notes all the way to Japan.” Lauren Riggs in Spain shared, “The way I feel most loved as a missionary is when people love on my kids. This past year, a church reached out to me and offered to send us money for our kids’ Christmas presents. It was such an unexpected blessing.”

6) Actively asking about prayer needs.

“Remembering and asking about how someone can pray for specifics of our family and ministry needs that are close to our hearts. Following up and asking things like, ‘How are the conversations about faith with so-and-so going?’ or ’How is your child adjusting to the new school?’” (Amy Postlewaite in Bulgaria). Whether it’s a text, email, or Zoom call to check in, it is nice to know missionaries aren’t forgotten when on the field.

7) Emailing or texting unexpectedly

Receiving texts or emails saying people are praying for us means the world as well because sometimes this life is lonely and it’s hard. The encouragement goes a long way! (Bethany, Spain)

8) Involving WAC groups

“Ladies of WAC groups and former WNAC director, Elizabeth Hodges, packed boxes for my kids as they were going to college with things they would need from the Provision Closet. We were not able to go there ourselves, so that really helped. (Linda Snow in Japan)”

9) Meeting Stateside household needs

Linda Snow shared, “Our church in Albany, Georgia, had our house all set up for us to move in when we came back from the field.” What a blessing to have some of your groceries or furniture moved and ready for your arrival. What a stress relief for our missionaries returning home. The Prices in France also shared, “One church bought all of the essentials (spices, flour, sugar, etc) to set up Cristina’s kitchen for our furlough in the States. I believe that it was a month, if not longer, before we had to do a major grocery purchase for our family.”

10) Sending snail mail

Sending a handwritten card or note “across the sea” brings joy to their day. “When I spoke at New Hope just before I left, each of the kids wrote a message and colored a note postcard. Ever since Thanksgiving, I have gotten a postcard each week in my mailbox. It has been so very encouraging!” (Shannon Little in Japan)

11) Giving offerings to specific projects

Your gift to a specific project or missionary need makes a difference! Your generosity allows ministries to take place through financial provisions. Heath Hubbard in Japan shared, “Find a small project you can support that will really help the church plant on the field, like new tech equipment, etc.” The Bishops in Japan also shared, “One church in the States has recently sent gift cards, Visa or Amazon, to purchase some helpful household items.”

12) Helping missionaries adjust to church visits when they are on furlough

When a missionary family visits your church to share about their ministry, help them feel comfortable by greeting them when they arrive, helping them find the right Sunday School class or connection group, and making sure they know how to set up anything for their presentations. After the service, how about inviting them to eat lunch with you at a local restaurant or sitting with them if the church is providing a meal. Listen to their stories and share some of yours with them as well!

So which idea inspires you personally to take action today? Maybe when you receive the next missionary newsletter, you can follow up with a word of encouragement. Maybe you can simply “like” a missionary’s social media post online. Or take a moment to send a message to let a missionary know you’re praying for them. You could even put something personal in the mail or make a generous donation.

These are all incredible and simple ways to love on missionaries! They need your support and partnership. It takes every believer to pray, give, and go to further God’s mission.

February 6, 2023

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