I’m not going to lie to you. Being a missionary? It’s not easy.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot to be thankful for. Being a missionary? It’s rewarding. We feel secure knowing that we are right where God wants us to be. I’d dare even say it’s simple, because life boils down to the basic Christian principle of trust and obey.

Rewarding? Yes.

Secure? Yes.

Simple? Yes.

Easy? No.

What makes it hard? A lot of things. It’s different for every missionary really.

I hope you’re not rolling your eyes reading this, thinking, “Oh boy, here’s another one of those blog posts asking me to give money.” This isn’t one of those blog posts. As much as we do need regular financial support, it’s not the only thing we need. You can help us and partner with us, without having to give us your hard-earned cash (unless of course you want to).

The help this post is talking about is very much free, and especially for missionaries who are very new to the mission field, it is vital. So… How do you help?

Simple. Don’t forget us.

You’re there. We’re here.

Unless we make a lot of noise on Facebook/Instagram/Social-Media-Platform-of-Choice and unless we reach out to you, you probably don’t spend much time mulling over us. After all, you’re living your own life and struggling with your own struggles. We get it. We understand. Really. We do. Still, it would be nice to hear from you once in a while.

The mission field is rife with stories of missionaries who traveled halfway across the world, adjusting to a new culture, being traumatized by the transition, and never hearing as much as a “how are you?” from their church back home.

One friend of mine told me about how she never heard a word from her church for more than six months. She sent her newsletters regularly, and no one ever responded. Her story is milder, because there are some who never heard from their home church for years—even decades.

I’m one of the lucky few. I’m so grateful to belong to a church where there are people regularly messaging me, asking me how I am, reminding me that they’re praying for me, asking me if there’s anything I need prayer for. Sometimes, I’m the one who isn’t responding, because my inbox is inundated with messages from well-meaning people trying to get an update on what’s happening to me, and I find myself too busy or too lazy (gulp) to respond to all of them. But I do try to respond—even if it’s a week late—just because it feels good to know that I’m remembered.

It doesn’t even have to be a long, complicated email. A friend of mine—who I haven’t talked to in years—just messaged me the other day with these simple words, “Hey. How are you? How can I pray for you today?” And it made such a difference.

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It’s great to know that I’m not forgotten by the church that sent me out. It’s nice to hear from not only my leaders, but my brothers and sisters in Christ back home. It’s encouraging to know that though I’m missed, I’m prayed for and supported in the call God has for my life.

So yeah… back to that last question.

What makes life as a missionary hard? It’s different for all of us, so the best thing you can do is ask.

A simple message on Facebook or a quick email will suffice. You don’t even have to pay for postage stamps to do it. If there are missionaries sent out by your church off to the great unknown to reach the unreached, let them know they’re remembered, ask them what they need prayers for and do pray for them.

It really does help.

 

Blog by Within Reach Global missionary, J.A.

David Joannes
Founder/President at Within Reach Global
David Joannes is the co-founder and president of Within Reach Global, Inc, which serves the advance of the Gospel in some of Southeast Asia’s most difficult places. He is the author of The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary. David has a love for language, culture, and creative writing, and for the last 20 years, he has witnessed God’s Kingdom established in forgotten parts of the globe. David lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with his wife, Lorna, and their daughter, Cara.
  • Dave Lewis

    You nailed it! Thanks for revealing what so many of us have experienced, and what all of us long for.

    • It’s the simple things, isn’t it? I mean, obviously we need vision partners who are willing to stand behind the vision financially. But when a simple word of encouragement comes, it thrusts us forward, full of connected faith. Thanks for the comment!

      • Dave Lewis

        Indeed. And you are most welcome. Anything to thrust you forward!

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