May 13 10

Have We Abandoned Our Missionaries?

vmsmith

As many of you are aware, I have had the privilege through the years of taking several short-term missionary trips to numerous foreign countries.  Each one of these experiences has been absolutely inspiring and enlightening.  In the process, I have made many observations, developed enduring friendships and witnessed the power and love of God in the lives of many people including the missionaries themselves.  At least two missionaries I have had the honor to meet have expressed the thought:  “Sometimes we feel totally abandoned by our church and believers in our homeland.”   Of course they are thankful for the financial support they do receive, but many have expressed the feeling that many believers seem to think that by depositing a couple of dollars in the offering now and then will fulfill our obligation to honor the Great Commission – the spreading the Gospel to all nations (Matt. 28: 18-20 ).   While it is true that the great work of the spreading of the Gospel needs financial support from all of us, there is so much more we can do to encourage this work and the individuals who do it.  Let’s look at some of the ways we can edify our missionaries and the important work they do in the name of the Lord

  1. Write to them.  With the advent of email and the internet, it is incredibly easier to dash off a note of concern and encouragement.
  2. Invite them to your church while they are on furlough.
  3. Visit them.  Not all of us have the funds, but those who do can show our concern and support by taking direct interest in the work and by even participating by sharing our talents and/or testimony.  The personal connection is so important.
  4. Give – increase your giving to missions and be consistent in regular donations.
  5. Send “Care Packages”.  Shipping costs can be prohibitive, but in some instances you can send them through the Mission Board or Sponsoring Church to minimize the cost.
  6. Pray for them – their own family life; their physical and spiritual health; their safety; their successful evangelism; their relationships with the people; and their perseverance (“I do not cease to pray for you…that you might be strengthened…unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” –Col.1:9-11).

May each of us make every effort to enhance the spread of the Gospel by deepening our relationships with the Lord and with the missionaries we are honored to support.

Gary Moline