One of the things we are working to improve at Connection Pointe is our care for missionaries. We have written guidelines for sending people into cross-cultural missions service, but have few written guidelines to sustain them on the field and receive them back.
- Sending church? Check
- Sustaining church? Kind of
- Receiving church? Not much
Good missionary care requires our best efforts in all three areas. Below are some examples of good missionary care. You can decide if they are part of Send, Sustain or Receive to help you know when these should be done. (Sometimes the answer is All!)
- Taking an interest in their ministry and learning about it from them
- Praying for them
- Sending support checks regularly, without fail
- Visiting their field of service
- Keeping them informed of your life, big things and small
- Keeping them informed of changes at your church that are important to them
- Helping their extended family if there is a need
- Helping their children when they return to their passport country to enter university
- Helping them understand the local subtleties and complexities when they return from their field of service
- Connecting them to reliable mechanics, lawyers, doctors, plumbers, coaches, gardeners – any need they have that requires another person’s skills or knowledge
- Recommending groceries, banks, restaurants, neighborhoods, hardware stores, department stores still operating – any place they would be frequenting for just plain living
- Educating them on the latest technology commonly used, including the scams
- Listening to their view of the world. It will bless them, and you’ll be much smarter!
- Listening to their children’s view of the world. They will blow your mind! They have seen things you never will and tell you from a young person’s view.
- Learning about their journey of faith, from first call to final breath, and what God has taught them. Stick with this for months, even years. It will help them process and make your own faith stronger. It could potentially change your family, even your entire church.
We are in the process of filling out the remainder of our Global Care Teams so each of our global partners not nearby has a group that will provide missionary care for them. Several of our missionaries have shared how meaningful it has been to them to have a consistent group to communicate with from the field and return to in a church as large as ours. People on several Global Care Teams have visited the missionaries on the field, so it becomes more of a reunion each time they meet up – here or there. Those relationships are the heart of our missionary care, as we Send Sustain Receive.
Til next week,