5 Ways To Care For A Missionary

GoTEN Staff


How can I care for a missionary?

This is a question that we hear often from good-hearted people that genuinely want to serve those who have dedicated their lives to loving others. Perhaps you are one of these individuals who are on a missionary's support team, or have been considering joining one, and you are wondering, “What does it truly mean to be a good partner?” Good news! This article is for you. We have asked missionaries across our organization and have compiled their answers into a Top 5 List so that you can get a holistic picture of what it means to love and care for your missionary. The answers are listed in descending order to save the number one way to love a missionary for the end!

# 5. Joining the missionary in the field

This may seem a little counterintuitive in a relationship where one person agrees to help send another to the mission field, and it may not always be practical. However, when it is possible to take a short term trip or invest in a local missionary's work part-time it expresses solidarity and togetherness to someone who can often feel isolated as they work to bring the gospel to foreign cultures. Missionaries can feel disconnected from their support teams, whether they are halfway around the world or halfway across town. Taking the time to join them in their work reminds the missionary in the trenches that they are not alone and the work that they are doing truly matters.

# 4. Unsolicited gifts and referrals

One primary aspect of the missionary partnership is financial resourcing. Often this is initiated by the missionary who can then feel pressure to bring value to the kingdom investment that is being made on their behalf. When a partner gives a gift above and beyond what they have committed to, or refers an individual or church to the missionary as a potential partner, it communicates the belief that they are a good and worthy investment. Additionally, missionaries often desire to live austere lifestyles to both fit more closely with those whom they serve, but also to ensure that the money given to support them has a greater kingdom impact. Gifts that are given expressly to be used for the missionary to treat or care for themselves are often a huge blessing and express the value that they bring to the partnership.

# 3. Replying to newsletters

Email and physical newsletters are often the primary means of correspondence from the missionary to update their support team back home of the work that is taking place. These messages are often the distillation of the missionary's life work and are sent out with the hope that they will be an encouragement to those who have committed to support them through prayer and finances. Receiving reply emails or physical letters from their partners that offer encouragement, Bible verses, and prayer for those relationships that are mentioned in the newsletters can be incredibly uplifting. Again, this reminds the missionary that they are not alone and that their team truly values their work.

# 2. Keeping in touch

If the theme has not become evident so far, a huge need of missionaries is to feel connected to their support team. Taking time to send messages of encouragement, a song that reminds the partner of them, or a small gift communicates to the missionary that they are not alone and that they have a team behind them who believes in the work that they are doing. Also, sending updates of the partners' lives can help the missionary stay connected with the communities that they have left behind for the sake of the gospel. Uprooting oneself is usually difficult, even when it is for a worthy cause. Finding ways to maintain relationships with their partners can be incredibly life-giving for the missionary.

# 1. Prayer

It may not come as a surprise that the number one way to love and care for your missionary is through prayer. Even more than finances, prayer is what fuels a successful ministry. Having a team that is wrapping the missionary and their work in prayer is often what sustains them through the difficult seasons. A team that is committed to praying for the missionary and to praying for the people that they have gone to serve is the foundation of their ministry. The knowledge that they have a prayer team is like a safety rope that they can rely on as they descend into the darkness. If you can do nothing else for a missionary, please pray.