There’s more than just financial support that keeps Crosslinks workers in ministry. Here are five ways to partner with missionaries without having to pull out your wallet.
Our mission partners’ efforts only bear fruit because God is at work through them – so we need to ask God to do that! That’s the way mission partnership works: the Lord using the prayers of Christians in one country to bring about gospel fruit in another. Pray for opportunities and boldness in sharing the gospel and for the Lord to be saving people. Pray for your mission partner’s personal situation: for spiritual growth, for health and safety, for good relationships with co-workers and their community, and for God-given stamina to keep going when times are tough. Here are eight ways you can pray for your mission partner.
Serving overseas can be isolating, especially in the early years when local relationships haven’t been built. Make sure your mission partners know that they aren’t forgotten about. It might be financial giving that practically keeps people on the mission field but relationships with those back home can be the thing that keeps them going emotionally. A video chat, an email, a letter – they can be just what is needed to boost morale and raise spirits.
We all need reminding of God’s mission mandate – some for the very first time. You could be the person who sparks a missional mind-set in numerous other Christian friends and church family members. Telling just one other person about the need for the gospel in other countries could have a huge impact. Every overseas worker, every prayer partner, every financial giver – they all found out how to play their part in mission by reading God’s word and through the encouragement of other Christians.
You could send a parcel of things not available locally, such as certain foods or toiletries. Christian books can be easier to get hold of in the UK – why not donate one that you’ve read recently? New mission partners might appreciate help with renting out their house, or storing possessions they won’t take with them, or looking after their children while they make preparations. Maybe you have a unique service you can offer – financial advice, dental work, etc. Newly returned mission partners or those on home leave often value a place to stay: short-term or medium to long-term, even a holiday home so they can take a much-needed break. Likewise, a car they can borrow or buy, or help acquiring bulky items such as car seats or children’s cots. Small acts like this are all part of serving global mission. If you’ve got something you think might be useful, or you’d like to know what your mission partners’ current needs are, get in touch.
Could you spend a few weeks supporting a missionary mum as she gets home-schooling routines established? Or a couple of months teaching English at a theological college so that non-English speakers can access the course? Or could you stay for a year or two and provide extra support to local church ministry? Short-termers can be a huge encouragement to long-term workers. Visits from partner churches help prevent feelings of isolation and foster deep partnerships. From our experience, short-term trips are an important part of building long-term ministry both for those who go and those who receive.
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