I’m sure you’ve all seen those blog posts of what NOT to say about (fill in any subject here). I always find those really disconcerting, by the time I’ve read through them I’m convinced that I’ve said ALL of them. Why, yes .. yes, I did tell a woman that her face looked like a pumpkin!
Not really, but those lists freak me out. I usually finish reading them and feel like I have NO idea what to say to someone in that particular situation and now I’m paralyzed with the fear that I’ll say one of the forbidden items.
So here is a list on how to encourage a missionary! That’s me..if you want to encourage me go ahead 🙂 Or you can use this to encourage the plethora of other missionaries in the world.
1. Pray for us: No really, seriously pray for us. Don’t just say “we’re praying for you!” actually do it. Stop me and pray with me. Or pray at home. Or in the car. Wherever. Tell us about it. Tell us, we pray for you every Monday, or I pray for you when I buy Costa Rican coffee, or I prayed for you yesterday. Really pray for us and tell us about it. We’re praying for you too, by the way. We really are.
2. Bear with us: It can be super awkward raising support. It is such a vulnerable and humbling time for us. Money is not easy to talk about (a great post on that here btw)– I don’t like to do it. I don’t want every conversation to be about support. Sometimes we wonder, “Did that person get the email I sent?” or “They said they’d support us but haven’t yet, should I remind them?” or “maybe so-and-so is avoiding me because they are tired of being asked” We don’t want you to feel awkward either. Sometimes in an effort to not want people to feel pressured we can seem aloof. We’re sorry. We don’t mean to. It’s awkward for us too, and we don’t want it to be awkward for you. Please bear with us as we stumble through this journey. Please give us grace!
3. Share the Enthusiasm: We are so excited about what God is doing in Central America, we want to tell you about it! We want you to be excited about it too. Ask us about it. We love to hear that you are interested in our ministry.
4. Engage Us: If you’re supporting us (financially, prayerfully, emotionally), we so so value your support. If you’re reading this post, we are grateful. We’re praying for you. Did you know that? We want you to feel a part of our team, because you ARE! We couldn’t do this without you! If you have ideas of how we can include you more, let us know. If you’ve read an update or post and have a question or comment, talk to us. We’re a team.
5. The Gracious No: We completely understand that not everyone can and will support us. We get that. Trust us, we can’t support every ministry or cause that we’re approached about either. We completely understand that God calls people to give differently. If you are unable to give or feel called to give elsewhere, that’s OK! Peter and I have reflected a number of times that there is blessing in a gracious “no.” We have felt encouraged when, even though folks can’t give financially, they encourage us and might even sign up to pray for us. That can be better than a check!
6. Know You are Very Dear to Us: Know how much we love you! Oh how we thank God for your support every day. We cannot do this without you. You matter to us. You really matter. We pray for you by name. When someone signs up for our newsletter or fills out a pledge card we rejoice. We thank God for you everyday. You are absolutely treasured by us, please know that. Thank you for being a part of our team.