Our missionaries continually amaze me. They give up family reunions and celebrations. They give up the security and comforts of one of the richest nations on earth. They give up the fellowship pastors have in the United States at pastors meetings and informal meals. They willingly and joyfully go wherever God has called them to go, regardless of the difficulties they face.
As we think of these great servants of the Lord, we naturally think about all the ways we can support them. We send money to as many as we can every month, we read the letters our missionaries send us and pray for them every month, and we contribute to our Missionary Care Offering every year.
Nothing can take the place of the personal relationship and the care missionaries receive from their sending pastor and church, but we can still all help all of our missionaries by sacrificially giving to our Missionary Care Offering.
Here are just a couple of the ways our Missionary Care Offering is currently helping our missionaries.
Training – The world today makes it very difficult for our missionaries to live and travel in. Some of our missionaries are going into countries that make it difficult or even seemingly impossible to get in to. We don’t want this to slow us down from taking the gospel to every person in the world. We have all noticed the increase in prayer requests from our missionaries concerning visas. Getting a visa a few years ago was just a given. Not anymore. The Mission Office is currently providing the most updated information and instructions missionaries desperately need to be able to get to and stay in the country to which God has called them. Money given to the Missionary Care Offering pays for this training. Your contribution will go a long way in providing this training for all our missionaries. We need to train all our missionaries about the new challenges of living abroad as soon as possible.
Crisis Support – When a crisis hits outside of the United States it is much harder to endure. Our missionaries deal with health problems that their host country cannot help them with, natural disasters without the infrastructure the United States has, and laws than can put a missionary in prison for something as minor as being involved in a car accident, in addition to the normal problems of marriage and family issues people in the United States face. When a crisis hits, the Missionary Care Offering helps the Mission Office work with the sending pastor to immediately help a missionary in need. The help can come too late if we wait to hear of a need, broadcast the need and wait for money to be given to the need. The Missionary Care Offering allows the Mission Office to respond immediately when a need arises. Already the Missionary Care Offering has helped evacuate missionaries with an urgent medical problem to a country that had the medical care they needed. Who knows which missionary will need immediate help next? As you give to this offering, you are reassuring the missionaries you support that we will be there for them when a crisis occurs.
I urge you to join me in giving as much as you can to the Missionary Care Offering this September. Everything you give will help make a difference in our efforts to go into all the world and preach the gospel.
Lewis is the Senior Pastor at Ventura Baptist in Ventura, California. When he because pastor of Ventura Baptist he had a passion to move missions to a top priority, and the church now gives generously to many missions works around the world.