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Barnabas, mentioned in the book of Acts, is the great example of someone whose life and ministry were marked by the way he encouraged others. You too can refresh and encourage our missionaries.  You don't need a special calling to do this. In fact, it's a command given to every believer:

 

"Encourage one another and build up each other, just as you are in fact doing."
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NET Bible

 

All you need is some understanding of the role the missionary fulfils and an idea of the challenges the missionary faces in that role.

 

Missionaries serving overseas in a different culture have to adjust to learning a new language, living in a different climate, eating different kinds of food than what they were used to at home. They have to figure out how to function in a culture where many things are done differently. In addition, they also miss their extended family and the friends they have at home.

 

How can you find out more about the specific needs and challenges of a particular missionary or tentmaker?

 

  • Ask to receive the missionary's newsletter (prayer letter).
  • Get to know him or her when they are back home on leave.

 

If you need help with either of these, contact the PTM for Missions at 6336-1433.

 

What can you do to encourage them?

 

  • Send them some news from home by letter or email
    [caution about email: some of our workers live in sensitive contexts where it is not possible, or not advisable to freely and openly share about Christian matters. For guidelines, please contact the PTM for Missions]
  • Remember their birthday (including their children in the case of a family). Send them a nice card and/or a simple gift.
  • Offer to help them by taking care of some matters at home while they are overseas. Some missionaries appreciate someone who will mail out hard copies of their newsletter on their behalf. Most will appreciate it if you can pray for and occasionally visit their elderly parents.

 

These are just some practical ways to encourage missionaries. There are many more. The key is: get in touch with the missionary or tentmaker and find out how you can help him or her. Then do it with love and faithfulness. You will be blessed as you bless them.