Recently we posted a note on Facebook urging people to take 5 minutes to call, text, Skype, FaceTime, or fax your missionaries just to say hi – they miss being in the loop. I read it and passed it on but didn’t really think too much about it right then. The thought kept coming back to me though and I couldn’t shake the idea that we take saying hi to someone for granted but when I put myself in their context it could be just the thing that they needed that day.
Just about everywhere I go in the United States people say hi to me. Even people I don’t know and have never met before will say hi in passing and often throw in the, “how are you?” question when I know they don’t really care or even want to know how I am doing. But put yourself in a world where no one looks like you and wherever you go no one says, “hi, how are you?” And every day you go out it’s almost like you don’t even exist unless of course you’re buying something. That’s a tough concept for me to really wrap my head around sometimes. If that were you, how important would it be to hear a friendly voice or see a friendly face to keep your sanity? The reality is that many of our missionaries live in that world.
I love the small little story of Epaphroditus. The Philippians church was so concerned for Paul that they sent Epaphroditus to him as a messenger and to take care of Paul’s needs. Evidently supporting Paul financially wasn’t enough for this church that they sent someone to care for him. We can certainly be caring for our missionaries in several ways but one, and possibly the easiest, is to make a phone call or Skype call to them. It certainly doesn’t have to be about anything major but could just be a check-in to see how things are going and listen and have a friendly conversation. I recently read an article titled, “Closer to the Truth about Current Missionary Attrition: An Initial Analysis of Results.” In the article they concluded that too little missionary care was the greatest preventable reason missionaries return home. We have a responsibility to our missionaries and it starts with a phone call.
Is your church in regular communication with their missionaries? Find out and if not see if there’s a way that you can get involved in brightening a kingdom worker’s day.
Here2There has many ideas and ways that you and your church can begin or continue to build on the relationship between churches and missionaries. As a church figure out ways to include them in what you’re doing. An easy way to start is to Skype them or have them record a communion meditation. Visit our website here2there.org and contact us if you want to know more.
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