David Pat, a mobilizer with OMF US reflects on COVID-19 and how we can all show love and support to missionaries at this time:
I need to know that Jesus loves me and not just my work. It’s hard for me to sit still. I have a big calling that is about going to the ends of Earth for Jesus. But now I am just sitting at home waiting for an unknown date so I can get on the road again.
Being at home is painful. I feel useless and I’m afraid that I’m no longer able to be of God’s plan to share Jesus’ love with the world. Before this started, I was doing big things! I was visiting churches, preaching and telling the world about Jesus! Now I am at home and worrying about the future.
God is challenging me to be generous and kind in this hard time. My faith is being tried by fire. The global church is going through hardship together. I see a lot of brothers and sisters who have had their entire world thrown into chaos. This is a time of huge social and political upheaval yet God is still sovereign. I’m called to show his power through a box of chocolates and kid’s toys.
God is challenging me to be generous and kind in this hard time.
It’s in these times that small acts of kindness remind us that God speaks in the still small voice. I can hear him saying that he loves me and I want others to hear it too.
It’s especially important to serve our missionary friends at this time because we want to show them that they are valuable. It’s not just the work they do. It is who they are. They are made in the image of God and reflect his glory. We appreciate them even when they are sheltering at home.
God is still sovereign….I’m called to show his power through a box of chocolates and kid’s toys.
Many missionaries have spent their entire life getting ready to go to the field and have now had that plan suddenly changed. They are sitting at home and trying to discern what’s next. Will their ministry survive without them? When can they get back on the field? How will the coming economic crisis affect them?
It’s not our responsibility to solve every problem. We are called to love. To outdo one another in showing honor (Romans 12:10) and glorify God in his work among the nations. To trust that the plans of God are never stopped. To celebrate and serve his workers in their moment of greatest fear and need.
Here are some ideas that my family has tried to show our appreciation for our missionary friends:
1. Send care packages to missionary families. We packed boxes full of toys, snacks and books to send to families. If you have kids, you know how much they LOVE getting stuff in the mail.
2. Play get-to-know-you games with a missionary over a video call. Nostalgia is the best! Get them to talk about their favorite childhood memories.
3. Send a funny picture of your family to a missionary. Write their name on a piece of paper that says “We miss you”.
Our family has made this time of serving part of our regular routine. It’s too easy to just watch the news and have anxiety, but we are called to show generosity and kindness. Our family wants to make space in our routine to show love to God’s servants. We know that there are so many families who need just a little bit of extra cheer.
This is a God moment. May we not just be hearers of the word but may we take this opportunity to practice kindness.
- If you don’t support an OMF worker at the moment but would like to get involved in what God is doing through prayer, practical support or finance, please get in touch with your local OMF center to find out about supporting workers sent from your country.
- Get in touch with your mission partners – let them know you’re praying for them, try one of David’s practical steps above
- Encourage others in your church to think about ways of showing their appreciation for missionaries at this time
David Pat is a Mobilizer with OMF International. His passion is to see churches around the world grow in their knowledge and passion for reaching the lost. For over 15 years, he has used his experiences in Professional Natural Bodybuilding to open doors for ministry. He has a Masters of Theology from Bethel Seminary San Diego. He lives with his wife Carmen, and son Jeremiah, in San Diego.
Discover how we’re responding to COVID-19: Read our update on COVID-19
Pray with us: Four ways to pray in light of COVID-19