At the beginning of summer we posted an article entitled Ways You Can Be An Encouragement As Shared By Our Missionaries. It was in this post that 8 of our missionaries shared ways that their senders, supporters, and family, and home church could be an encouragement to them. Over and over again, I took notice of the fact that they included the suggestion to communicate with them in some fashion. When we are separated from our friends who are missionaries we have to remember that our lives are busy and move forward at a hundred miles an hour. Theirs do too…in a different way. Yet when that missionaries is living half way around the world in another culture with friends that speak other languages and reality hits that they are not able to watch their nephew grow up or meet their sister for coffee, it is encouraging and more supportive than one might realize, for them to simply be remembered by someone they know in the States. Whether it’s commenting on a recent update your missionary friend sent out to everyone, and heard back from…no one, or writing them a full page hand written letter, your words can serve as a way to build up and support these laborers in the fields of souls. So, can I ask you? When was the last time you communicated with a missionary in any way?
Ways you can communicate with missionaries:
You can visit GMI’s Website and click on any missionary picture and that will take you to a personal page about them. There, you can learn a little about their story and ministry and with that you will be given good ideas for questions you can ask them. At the bottom of their page you will find their contact information. If you need any further help contacting them, be sure to contact the home office and they will be glad to help you.
Snail mail is a fun option for anyone. Who doesn’t like getting a letter in the mail? It may take two weeks for a letter to arrive in another country, so keep that in mind when writing it, but don’t let that stop you either. You know what it’s like to receive a hand written note, why not bless a missionary with the same encouragement?
Responses to mission updates are something that truly encourage. As a missionary kid I saw that first hand as my parents shared with each other how fun it was to receive those responses if and when they got them. Missionaries spend precious time to write and keep their friends and supporters updated and when they hear back from them it is so encouraging to know people take the time to read and care about what is going on. Social media is a great avenue for this as well!
Phone Calls – I just received a phone call from my sister in law who is serving as a missionary in Tanzania and it made my whole day. This served as a good reminded to me of what a “voice to voice” conversation can do for the human heart. This is hard as sometimes out of country phone calls can be difficult to figure and getting the right number is tricky, but e-mail your missionary and ask for what works best and make something happen. Facetime or Skype can be amazing options for this as well. So, if you have the right contact info – please call. You never know what kind of day your friend is having and hearing from you might just help them through it.
Packages, I mean come on! Who doesn’t like getting a package! Holiday filled packages can be very special or birthday ones, or simply “just because” ones can be special. Just remember mint gum can make everything taste like mint gum and chocolate doesn’t survive a trip around the world very well. J Receiving one in the mail is fun and a special treat. Another option is to call the GMI office, find out if there is anyone traveling soon to visit the missionary you wish to send a package too and ask to send a small little something with them that way.
There are a couple other ways you can get in touch with a missionary such as e-mails, facebook messages, sending pictures, other social media outlets, or even visit them yourselves for a life changing adventure! Whichever way you choose it will serve as a blessing and encouragement.
I made a list of conversation starters and topics and would like to share that with you:
- What has your week been like?
- How have you been encouraged this week?
- What things have been difficult recently?
- How can I be praying for you?
- What books have they been reading?
- Who are your friends and co-laborers and how are they doing?
- What has been most exciting?
- What have you learning about the language and culture?
- What kind of adventures have you had recently?
- How have you seen God’s faithfulness in your ministry and family?
Thank you for taking the time read this, but more importantly for taking a genuine interest in the lives of our missionaries and your hearts for serving and encouraging them. God uses you to show them his faithfulness and we can all count that a privilege. May the Lord bless your future conversations with these friends serving all over the world!