Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sixteen Ways to Bless a Missionary, a Guest Post by Mindy Bush


While I'm digging myself a hole, I figured I might as well "do it good!"

To go along with this weeks post for Raising My Girls to Have a Heart for Missions, my old college chum, Mindy Bush agreed to write a guest post.
For all those who've asked and all those who've wondered how they can practically bless their missionaries, Mindy writes....



My husband and I served as missionaries to the country of Argentina for 12 years. This past year the Lord called us into a new ministry, that of working alongside Vision Baptist Missions in Alpharetta, Georgia. Our new ministry entails working closely with our missionary families, encouraging them, helping them, and being part of those who hold the ropes. 
There are those who go and those who send.  Both make a sacrifice, and both are equally important.  As senders, we should be just as involved in their lives as possible, not only while they are on deputation/furlough, but also while they are on the field.  “Out of sight, out of mind” is all too common and we as senders can easily forget that in a far distant land our goers need encouragement. 
Here are a few practical suggestions that you can use to encourage your missionaries:
1. Find out their needs (materially and spiritually) and pray earnestly for them. Continue to ask….all throughout deputation, time on the field and furlough.
2. Stay in touch. Skype, Heytell, Email, Texting, Facebook, Phone calls, Snail Mail.  There are so many ways to keep in touch these days!
3. Be available during the time right before they leave. Realize that it will be a crazy and emotional time.  Buying things for the next few years, packing, saying good-byes, selling belongings, working on paperwork…..the list goes on and on.  You can help by finding out what you can do to help!  

4.  Maybe just offering to babysit their kids for a day so they can get a lot done would help.   

5.  Drop dinner off at their house so they don’t have to cook.

6. Take them to the airport and have a send-off there. 

7. When they come on furlough, be at the airport to welcome them back home.

8. Share what they are doing on their field with your pastor and church.
9. Remember their birthdays, holidays, and other special days.  I’ll never forget a family who called us on Christmas Day, from a
supporting church.  We didn’t even know them, but they called on their busy day to talk to us for a little bit!

10. Send fun "care packages" occasionally to encourage your missionary or to help meet some of their needs.  Ask what kind of things they would like or can’t get in their country. Here is a list of some things that are not usually available in most countries: 
·         Peanut Butter
·         Dry Salad Dressing mixes like Ranch or Italian
·         Powdered Flavored Coffee Creamers
·         Chocolate chips
·         Macaroni and Cheese
·         Kool-aid
·         Pepperoni
·         Tylenol (for children and adults)
·         Maple Flavor Extract
·         Candles
·         Spices: Pumpkin pie spice, Lawry’s, Lemon pepper, Chili powder,  etc
·         Art supplies for kids
·         Bleach pens/ Tide to go pens
·         Marshmallows
·         Children’s books (most countries do not have libraries and also if the language is not English, they will not find books in English)
       
11. Great gift ideas that don’t have to be mailed:
a. Subscription to a magazine like Time or Newsweek so that they can keep up with what is happening in the U.S.
b. Amazon or iTunes gift cards so they can buy kindle editions of books or music.
c. Subscription to a magazine of interest to the wife. Find out if she has any hobbies.  Many magazines can be downloaded to kindle so find out if that is possible for her. 
12. Consider visiting your missionary on the field.
13. After a long deputation trip or when they come on furlough, it is nice to have a few groceries for them in their refrigerator and cupboards so that they don't have to go shopping right away.
14. Give them a special night out or some other special treat.  Babysit their kids so they can have some alone time. This is one of my personal favorites! 
15. When a missionary visits your church, a basket is always nice, but especially if it contains things that help the kids’ time to go faster in the car.  Some ideas would be: coloring/activity books, colored pencils, juice boxes, granola bars, chips, music cd (some favorites are Patch the Pirate, Lamplighters, Jonathan Park, etc)
16. Write a special note of appreciation with a gift card to a clothing store when they come home on furlough.  Go shopping with them for new clothes for their family. Other ideas for a gift card would be for a manicure/pedicure or to a beauty salon.   If you are short on funds, “coupons” for watching their kids whenever they need a date while on furlough is always appreciated!

I really appreciate these ideas, and I hope they are a help to you, too!
Thanks, Mindy, for taking time out of your very busy schedule to share!
Mindy blogs with a great bunch of missionary women over at Women Behind the Scenes.
Go join them some time!

*For those who noticed the number problem, it's all fixed now!

9 comments:

  1. Love this post! May I re-post this over at the BMW blog?

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  2. Thank you for this post! The ideas for how to help and bless a missionary are wonderful! Really enjoying your series! Praying for you and your family!

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  3. Jackie's JournalMay 3, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Super Post! Can I repost on mine as well?

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  4. Great tips! They seem like such "no brainer" ideas, but I know that these are the things that are anything but! People just assume that someone else will do these things or forget how much things like that were needed for them when they were moving or just insanely busy with something. It is good to be reminded that the "no brainer" things are normally the things that get forgotten! Thanks for the reminders!

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  5. I love it! But where are 4, 5, and 7?

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  6. I am not sure where you're getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for great info I was looking for this info for my mission.

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