Thursday, June 25, 2009

This is day two of our "Simple Ways to Support Missionaries" series. To catch up please click on the following link: Praying.

A very simple, inexpensive way to encourage missionaries is to stay in communication with them. Simple - but requiring discipline.

I know that after years of sending out update letters to friends and family, I've always appreciated it when people respond. Most often it is just a short note to say they are praying or that they received the update, but nonetheless it is nice to know that someone took time to read the letter that you spent a good amount of time putting together.

With all the technology these days, it is easier and easier to stay in touch, yet perhaps because of the ease, it is just as simple to forget to do so or put it off. Putting "correspondence" on your to-do list or calendar may be the best way to commit to this act of support. Write their birthdays down where you will see them in time to send a greeting. Another possibility would be to discipline yourself to respond immediately after receiving and reading their newsletters. As I write this, I am feeling convicted myself... I'm not a good communicator. One of my weaknesses is reading a letter between chores or in a hurry to get the news rather then waiting for a moment when I would have time to respond as necessary. I keep birthdays on my calendar, but I don't plan ahead to send a note on that special day. Like I said... it takes discipline.

There are a variety of ways to communicate these days - some more or less feasible depending on the situations with those you deal with:
  1. Emails
  2. Skyping
  3. Phone calls
  4. Notes on Facebook
  5. Comments on their blogs or websites
  6. Sending postcards/cards
  7. Even letter writing - we all love getting hand-written letters and it is becoming a lost art these days.
  8. Arranging a Penpal correspondence if you have children the same age
Just a reminder... if you have friends working in creative access countries, be careful to watch what you say or write - keeping away from spiritual or political topics except in code. We wouldn't want our act of love to jeopardize those ministries.

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