Missions is something that I have not known a lot about. I’ve had this view that it consisted of a 10 days missions trip, where everyone makes sure to take plenty of pictures of them with children in third-world countries and posting it to social media. Of course, we know it is much more than that, yet, if our only knowledge comes from social media, then we only know what we know. Right? I sat between wanting to have a passion for missions, teach our children more about it, and not really knowing how or what to do, or where to even start.
The missions coordinator at our church started doing a “ladies missions tea” once a month. I began going and our daughters would go with me. It was really eye opening to hear stories from real missionaries. By real, I mean, people who have committed their lives to leaving their homes and families to share the gospel. Not someone on a two week trip. To hear what they go through and then when all they ask prayer for is the faith and strength to continue. It’s a world I know I don’t understand.
Greg and I talked about it and decided to start doing what we have called, “Missions Monday” here in our home. We eat a simple meal of rice and beans and spend some time in prayer for missionaries that we know. We began to incorporate The Voice of The Martyrs into this time of prayer as well. We get their monthly magazine and try to read a story each week. Without fail, I cry. I put myself in the shoes of these families, and I just can’t hold back my tears. The stories are such a life foreign to what I know.
As we read of the persecution they suffer and yet still say, ‘I want to stay. I want to go back to where I was run out from. I want to be a missionary and share the gospel.” It wells something up within you. While I do believe we experience persecution in a different kind of way here in America, it is very different than what so many other believers around the world know as daily life.
If you sponsor a child in another country, this would be a great time to incorporate praying for them and the mission who oversees their sponsorship. This has also been a blessing to us to read the letters we get from our sponsored children on Monday nights. And again, it often makes me cry. Our last letter included how he hoped we could meet, that it would bring him much joy, asking that Jesus make it happen. Sponsorship is one way to give if you haven’t been called to go. Being able to help provide food, clothing, and an education to a child is priceless in many countries!
Maybe we aren’t called to go to another country, but we are most certainly called to share the gospel here. That is our calling. We don’t have to wonder. I often think, “If only I had the passion to share the gospel with my neighbor the same way these missionaries have the passion to stay in these countries with severe persecution.” I often pray for my faith to be strengthened by theirs, to have the same boldness and courage that they have, right here where God has me.
God has given us a desire to be intentional in praying for missionaries around the world, whether we know them or not. They are indeed our brothers and sisters in Christ. While this is just a start, it is something we have been faithful to for about a year and a half. I know there is more that we can do, but I want to share something simple that we do, that maybe your family could adopt in your own way.
Just like the rest of the Christian life, if we aren’t intentional to make things happen, they won’t. The same is true when it comes to learning about missions. It won’t exactly fall into our laps, but there are plenty of resources out there to educate. I can’t recommend VOM enough. Their monthly newsletters have been a blessing to our family.
I encourage you to find a way to bring missions into your family. It doesn’t need to look like how we do it, but I can tell you it’s been a blessing to me. This is an important area to disciple our children in. Who even knows, God may call them to go out to the nations.