- Set up a time to Share: As a church, give your missionary a designated time during the service to share how the Lord is working through their ministry. It allows those who support them to hear about how their prayers and giving have contributed. It also may inspire new people to get involved.
- Invite Missionaries to join your Bible study: This is a time of refreshment in the Lord for missionaries, but they may have been away for a long period of time, making it difficult to get connected with a community. Reach out and invite them to take part in your prayer or Bible Study group.
- Ask Intentional Questions: Let your missionary know that you want to hear about their ministry. By showing an interest in the details of their ministry, you are letting missionaries know you care about their life and work. Some examples are:
- What is your typical day like for you?
- How have you seen God work in a person’s life while on the field?
- How can I be praying for you?
- Be an active Listener: Sometimes just sitting and listening to someone is all the help they need. According to Serving as Senders by Neal Pirolo active listening says, “I am with you. I will take the time. I will put energy into really hearing you, not just what your surface words are saying.”
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13
Your SAMS Missionaries love to hear from you. Maybe you are not sure how to get involved with the missionaries you or your church send. How can we show love and encouragement to them when they are so far away? I reached out to your SAMS Missionaries and this is what they said:
- Sign up for their newsletters and reply to them
“It’s so encouraging when someone replies to my newsletters, especially when I can tell from their message that they read what I wrote!”
- Let them know you are praying for them
“It is a blessing getting notes from people who detail how they are praying for us. It conveys very powerfully that they have put a lot of thought and effort into their note.”
- Follow them on Social Media
“When we post things on Facebook, many of our senders will take the time to write a reply. It doesn’t have to be long, it is just nice to know they took a moment to let us know they are aware of what is happening in our lives.”
- Invite them to events
It is meaningful when people invite me to things when I am in the states or even to things when I am not. It reminds me that my supporters are thinking of me.”
- Share their ministry with others
“It blesses my socks off when folks tell others about my ministry and those folks start supporting!”
Sometimes it is the little things that encourage us all. How are you taking a second to encourage and love your missionaries, and others today? For when we show love, we show God because God is love (1 John 4:8).
Have you ever had God tell you to do something specific? Maybe he told you to serve someone, go somewhere, or give. Sacrificing your own possessions to others is not always the easiest. When we view what we possess as not our own, but God’s to use for his purpose, our perspective on giving changes.
Recently, a SAMS Sender shared their experience with sacrificial giving through correspondence to a SAMS Missionary:
Let me start by saying Zambia is not where my missionary heart is. Every New Year’s I pray and ask where I am supposed to send my gifts, and then I give as I believe the Lord is leading me. Most years my giving goes towards helping those who are in hunger, and people who live on the brink of poverty.
I don’t know why, but last year something about your appeal caught my eye and I decided to give a one-time gift. Then I saw you again in another newsletter from SAMS.
I was planning to wait until New Years and pray about your request, but this morning as I listened to “Our Daily Bread” devotional, it was about abundant giving (2 Corinthians 8:1-9). It dawned on me. I’m moving into a new home and was planning to buy a chair that costs more than the highest donation you appealed for! And in one of your newsletters, you wrote of how you built a counch out of wooden pallets!
So I prayed some more. If asked, I probably couldn’t find Zambia on a map, but India was not on my radar either and I spent several years supporting mission work there.
Here is the bottom line…I don’t think you fit into my giving plan, but God does! When he calls me to do something, what else can I do but listen to him? Young people around the world need Christian compassion, love, and discipleship. You are providing these! I pray my giving helps.
SAMS Missionaries around the globe give thanks to God for Senders who encourage, support and give to them. Thank you for your generous giving. How is God calling you this Advent Season? Pray, listen, and respond!
SAMS provides educational grants for children who are a part of the SAMS community. A number of individuals have been impacted by the Undergraduate Educational Grant Fund, including Alyssa Fountain, a missionary kid who served with her parents in Uganda. In the following letter Alyssa expresses her thanks to those who have donated to this fund:
Dear SAMS Education Grant donors,
I’m writing to say a massive thank you. It feels like only fitting that I should update all of you on where I am given that you all had to read my applications for 3 years talking about my life plans and goals and everything!
You have watched me run through different career ideas with every new application. Last year, I finally decided on pursuing Social Work. It seemed to fit so well for me given my interests in counseling, working with kids, and making the world a better place. The pieces all fell into place in my decision to go this route during several nights of lying awake and staring at the ceiling until three in the morning. I applied, was admitted to, and accepted a place at the University of Denver to pursue a Masters in Social Work.
This past year (2016) I took a short leave of absence from school to do some personal healing and soul searching, but now I am about to resume classes on top of a full time job with clearer career goals in mind. I plan to work as a consultant to international schools and potentially mission boards on protection of expatriate kids, based on my own experiences. Things are falling into place quite nicely.
Thank you for the prayer, the support, and of course the finances! The grant that you all gave me helped me to pay for so many things, from living expenses, books for school, to fixing my car! I worked many hours and depended on this grant to help make life just a little easier.
So, to wrap this letter up with my favorite Ugandan blessing (from one of the Epistles, though I can’t remember which): “May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all, now and forever.”
If you have a passion for the importance of education, prayerfully consider giving to the Undergraduate Education Grant Fund, and make a difference in an individual’s life.
I cannot express how grateful I am for this grant. I have been able to not stress constantly about paying for my tuition; I have been able to focus on school, cultural adjustment, and health.