Do I Have a Role to Play in Missions?
Are you investing in the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of missionaries? This is a key need in global missions! If you’re wondering how you can help, we’ve collected a list of practical tips from Steve and Kathi Weemes who served in Japan for 22 years and now help churches, missionaries and mission agencies partner better together.
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If you missed the article, “How Your Church Can Support Missionaries Well”, you might want to start there. Otherwise keep reading!
First, let’s clear up a couple myths and misconceptions:
- Mission agencies are not solely responsible for the missionary.
- Mission agencies rarely have funds available for missionaries to get counseling.
- If your missionary is supported by multiple churches, don’t assume the other church is taking care of things.
- Missionaries will face mental, physical and spiritual challenges.
- Spiritual warfare is not a question of “if”, but of “when”.
There are so many ways you can invest in the life of your missionary’s overall health. Steve and Kathy Weemes who support churches in their mission journey shared several tips to help you be intentional about supporting your missionaries.
- Pay for their counseling needs as they arise (including their kids).
- Pay their airfare if there is a major health crisis, death or marriage in the family.
- Talk to the missionary about their plans for retirement.
- Provide them with a car while on home assignment.
- Doctors and dentists in the congregation could provide free health care.
- Give gift cards for clothes where being home costs more than the country they live in and they don’t have enough finances (which is often the case).
- Pay for their trip to your church, then take up a love offering.
- Reply to their prayer letters.
- Take care of missionary kids when they are back in the passport country at university (i.e. make sure they have a place to go for the holidays, send them home to their parents at Christmas, help them with practical needs and support, be a friend).
- Care for the family of missionaries that are left behind (especially aging parents).
- Talk to them about further education when they are on home assignment (i.e. a counselor in the church can share opportunities for studying to be a counselor).
- Help equip them for spiritual warfare before they go.
- Support them with regular committed prayer.
- Arrange for the pastor and members of congregation to spend time with them on home assignment
- Visit them on the field.
Remember that as a church, you’ll be partnering with rather than relying on the mission agency. If you have more questions about how to support your missionary holistically, talk with the agency and your missionary to learn how support their individual needs.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by creating a mission strategy or feel like your current missions committee could use some support, Kathy and Steve would love to walk with you. Reach out and we’ll help you develop a plan for your church. >>Get Me Started
Thanks Steve and Cathy, these are quality practical suggestions. We have a handful of supporting churches and this past year they have been reaching out to us more than normal, which is great. One or two are on the ball when communicating with us, while a couple of others are also finding their “new normal” footing how to reaching out to all their missionaries. Thanks again for all the good work you are doing!