Saturday, June 27, 2009

This is day three of our "Simple Ways to Support Missionaries" series. To catch up please click on the following links: Praying, Communicating.

Sometimes one of the more difficult and awkward things about living overseas is finding someone back in the home country to handle those unavoidable details of life that can't be done from far away. Most missionaries I know have family members who do these tedious tasks because they ARE hard to impose on others. However, being aware of the needs and being willing to give of your time to help could certainly bless someone. Just keep in mind that due to the personal or legal nature of some needs, not everyone can take you up on your offers.
  1. Permanent mailing address - getting all their business, personal or junk mail and either storing it for their return or periodically sending it overseas in bulk.
  2. Letter coordinator - printing, stuffing and mailing prayer letters on their behalf.
  3. Email coordinator - (creative access countries) being the email 'go-between' who edits sensitive content between missionaries and their supporters.
  4. Errand boy - offering (repeatedly) to run those errands that can't easily get done from far away - probably most would be legal in nature and something that would require special authorization, but it never hurts to offer.
  5. Phone Caller - sometimes it is hard to research information or get in touch with offices/businesses when you live half-way around the world. Having someone to be willing to make those calls could be very helpful.
  6. There are probably many more ways to help for specialized cases or things I haven't thought of, so just generally offering your services will definitely be appreciate - even if not taken up.
As is human nature, people are more willing to accept help from those whom they feel they have a relationship with. If you really want to help, it's best if you maintain some level of communication with "your" missionaries.

Remember, as in all acts of service, do it "heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men" knowing that you are "storing up treasures in heaven." It is very likely you will receive no earthly reward or even acknowledgment for what you do. It is possible that you might be taken advantage of or go un-thanked, but that's not why we do what we do. Did I say this was "simple"?...hmm.

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