For the past several years, HarvestCall has given dedicated attention to this question. And, as a result, there have been a number of supports established for our missionaries. We enable mentors, provide trainings, offer counseling, do support trips, set up church supports, etc. However, most of this is provided by brethren in designated HarvestCall roles, such as committee members, counselors, or mentors. But what can the “average member” do to support our missionaries? Sometimes it is hard to know.
To answer that question, lets look at it from two different perspectives. There are direct supports and indirect ways and we will look at examples of each.
These are those acts of sharing, praying, and encouragement given directly. They are things each of us can do and here are some examples.
- Committing to pray for our missionaries (A list is available at harvestcall.org/our-missionaries)
- Send an email or note of encouragement
- Give to the Servant Fund to financially support those who are serving (harvestcall.org/servant-fund)
- Go on a team or offer to visit a missionary on the field
- Send a gift
Missionaries on the field are encouraged when they feel the support of the brotherhood through these acts of love.
These can also come in different forms and for the sake of this article, the following is an indirect support that is often not considered.
There is significant mutual encouragement that comes from a shared experience in outreach together. We understand this in a general sense whether it is a positive example such as two people who have both been on a vacation to the Smokey Mountains or a negative example such as two people who have had the same illness. There is instant connection and an ability to relate created from those shared experiences. This can happen as we engage in outreach in our local churches while our missionaries reach out in their context.
Our missionaries are greatly encouraged when they witness the local church engaging in mission work. This happens on both an individual level as well as on a church-wide level.
When a missionary engages in a conversation with a brother or sister who shares about a work the Lord has given them, a connection is created. For instance, a brother who is active in a local prison ministry may have a question about how to develop in new believers a desire for consistent Bible reading. The missionary can identify with that and there is an instant connection. Based on their common experiences they can encourage each other. Or, on a church-wide level, brethren of a local church could tell a missionary about their recent experience in trying to help a needy family in the community. Undoubtedly, there would be questions about how to make the help effective, how to ensure the gospel message is communicated through the effort, and how to ensure that the assistance is not actually hurting the family. This experience, whether entirely relatable by the missionary or not, is very encouraging because the core components of outreach are similar. From this, the missionary is encouraged from the experiences of the church and the church has the opportunity to hear a perspective of how that may work in another country.
Whether it is direct support from one brother to another or whether it is shared support from a common experience, the body of Christ must be working together. With Christ as the head of the body, we are His hands and feet serving a broken and hurting world. As we do that together, all of us are encouraged in the work, keeping our hands to the plow!
Posted on Friday Feb 23
by Site Admin