Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

24 January 2010

Lists too Good not to Share # 4 - Blessing Missionaries

This is my last list and no, it isn't Monday. But tomorrow I have something else I need to post.

Do you know any missionaries? Or at the very least, do you know of any missionaries? They are ordinary people who eat, sleep, have families, do a job, try to work hard at their relationship with God and at their relationships with one another under God. But as it happens they work in a foreign setting. Sometimes their work is a direct ministry. Sometimes they do a mainstream job and seek to be Christian in how they work and live. Another feature of missionaries is that they have left their homes, families, friends and churches to do this. It is good work but it can be isolating work. So here is a great list from the Desiring God website of 13 ways to bless a missionary without paying for postage - which will surely appeal because I know there are some of you out there who don't like writing letters!! And the good thing is that you don't have to wait until Christmas to have a go at one of these...each of them will work and be gratefully received any time of the year.

This list is again presented to you with full permission and as per their request, I have copied the article in full which was originally from here.

Were you unable to send a Christmas present or care package to some missionaries you love this season? It’s okay. You can still bless a missionary this Christmas.

[Update: It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway—even though Christmas is past, these ideas can still encourage our friends overseas. Let's keep serving them all year long!]

Here are 13 post-office-free ideas to get you started, most of which you could do right now from your desk:

1. Pray specific Scripture for them and their ministry, and then email it to them.

2. Call or email their parents—Christmas might be just as lonely for the ones at home as the ones away.

3. Purchase phone minutes for an international calling card through an online service like OneSuite and email them the account number.
4. Donate frequent flier miles to them.
5. Purchase an iTunes gift card for them. Have it sent to you and email them the account number.
6. Commit to pray for them on a specific day of the week for a year.
7. Write a song or poem or story for them. Email them the text and a recording of you reading or singing it.
8. Get friends and family together to create a holiday video greeting for them using Google Video or YouTube. Include lots of people you know they miss.
9. Make a year-end gift through their missions board or agency.
10. Western Union—the fastest way to send money.
11. Call their local florist (not everyone is in the jungle these days) and have flowers delivered, or their local Pizza Hut and have pizza delivered—with corn and shrimp as toppings!
12. Donate to a charity that means a lot to them.
13. Make a monthly commitment to support them financially.
If you have your own ideas, respond to this post and let us know what they are. Maybe next year we can offer 50 suggestions, or 100.

(Remember to use discernment in written or video communication if your missionaries work in security-sensitive locations.)

" Copyright 2007 Desiring God. Used by permission."

And here is another similar list, this time from the Gospel Coalition Blog, which does include a visit to the post office!


Sarah said...

Thanks Meredith for the lists. I have really been enjoying them!

Meredith said...

Thanks for dropping in Sarah. Nice to meet you. A fellow tea drinker!

Glad you enjoyed the lists. I love a good list...but then, you would have already realised that!

Little Birdie Blessings said...

From time to time I send my missionary friend Beth, an e-gift certificate to amazon for her kindle. Thanks for the other ideas you suggested. Abby

Meredith said...

Hi Abby. That is a great idea and I am sure Beth really appreciates it, given her love of reading.

Thanks for your comment here. It sent me back to this original post, which is borrowed from Desiring God, and made me realise that it is somewhat out of date. In a couple of years there is so much more that we can gift cards for kindles...things which weren't on the horizon when this was originally written. Might be time for an update.