By David Ogunshola
Here are practical ways for you to get involved in affecting the world through missions when you do not yet have the courage or the calling to leave home on full time missions.
- Make a monthly financial donation to a missionary for six months in a row.
The idea is not in the size of the donation really, it’s in the consistency. Two things are going to happen when you do this, first is that you will make an unforgettable mark in the life of the recipient of your donation. Imagine being part of a missionary’s monthly budget for six month, they pray for you every time they receive that gift. Second, having to make that donation every month makes you remember the person or the need monthly and you will most likely get attached to the cause to which you are donating. You will discover that you pray more for them or contact them more often. If after six months there is no visible significant change in your life, attitude and finance, then stop. But chances are you won’t want to stop.
- Invite and sponsor a missionary over to your city for a week of rest.
This sounds like it doesn’t make so much practical sense. Those guys need to be out there winning souls right? But you might be shocked that some missionaries have not left their station on a non-official trip in the last 2 or 3 years. Whenever they do, it’s usually to meet a need, or to attend a sort of meeting or training, or probably to minister. Why not be part of refilling their lives. You’re wondering about making an investment in their lives, then do it the unconventional way. Give them a call asking them to come over to your city or a nearby city, make it easier for them by offering them return tickets for their trip and make an arrangement for them to be housed, fed and relaxed – nothing more. No business, no ministration, no meetings, just rest. They themselves won’t know how much they needed it till they’re done, and you wouldn’t know that you just saved a life, a family or a ministry. The beauty of this is that it can be done even in your absence. Just finance it.
- Send in phone recharge card.
Very simple and can be done even without preparation, yet you have no idea how touching it can be. You have the phone number of someone working on a mission field? It could be a missionary, a short term volunteer or even a top missions executive. Send them a text saying you just prayed for them, and include the code of an airtime recharge card. Guess what will happen? They will be speechless for a minute, then suddenly feel really special and honored the next moment. But here’s the bit you need to know, you must have airtime valid for the country where they work, or you just keep this limited to missionaries within the country.
- One weekend of volunteer service.
Do you live in a town where missionaries work or live? Then here’s a chance to do something significant. Just stop by the office one weekend (well, maybe some days before the weekend) and tell them what you can do or will be willing to do– it could be fixing computers, servicing a car, motorcycle or generator, it could be helping out with some spreadsheet, presentation or graphic design, it could even be mere office maintenance or domestic chores, carpentry, plumbing or electrical work. Request that they allow you volunteer for the weekend to help. At first they might look at you with suspicion, but when they know you’re serious, you’ll be amazed how needful and right on time your help was. Mind you, you just built a relationship that might last a lifetime. Don’t wait for a spare weekend, you decide the weekend and ask them in advance.
- Home lesson for missionary kids.
This is another hot one if you live close to missionaries and you’re wondering how you can be a part of their work and their lives. Do they have kids? Then this could be for you, visit with the family and find out what subjects the kids need extra help on (kids always need extra academic help by the way). Arrange with the family to teach their kids that subject even if it’s two hours a week for free. Guess what, your name will always come up during their family devotions. It might be little, but it counts a lot and those kids might never forget you… and even if they do, the parents won’t.
- Join a short term team.
You’re very busy all year round, or you run your own business and its demanding, or you’re a student and don’t have much you can give financially. Put your ears down, is there a team planning a missions trip or visit near you? Volunteer on the team, it could be from a few days to even as long as two weeks, be part of the team. Go out there, feel the new culture, serve, prayer-walk, encourage and come back home. You would have made amazing contributions to missions even without knowing or realizing.
- Send in a gift pack.
Everyone loves gifts, especially when it’s their birthday, anniversary or Christmas. However the most touching gift is the one that comes when you’re not expecting. Think of that. Package a gift for a missionary and send it at random. You could mail it to them or mail it to someone close to where they live. Your gift doesn’t have to be something big, just make it relevant or something they don’t easily have access to. It could be a recipe/cookbook, storybooks for their kids, solar lamps & devices, or even greeting cards signed by members of your family. Just get a bit creative and be surprised how this works.
- Plan a prayer-walk.
They say prayer is not preparation for the work, it is the work. On your knees you don’t need visas, residency permits or flight tickets to get anywhere you want to go. You can pray from where you are and make tremendous impact. However, praying on site and on ground gives a different feel to it. It gives you insight on what to pray for and it brings alive your prayer burden. Are you called to support missions through prayer? Take your ministry a step further by planning a trip just to pray on the mission field.