Last month we examined and prayed for RELEASING LABORERS into the hard places among the nations where the harvest is still to come. This month it is imperative we examine how we CARE for those LABORERS in the most helpful and essential ways. It is an honor God has given us.
The two dimensions that are most often prioritized for any kind of missionary/laborer is prayer and financial support. However important prayer and money are, those are not the primary reasons why missionaries struggle on the field and often need to return home.
Issues with team dynamics/conflict and also issues with marriages, children and personal mental, emotional, relational health rank at the top as why missionaries come home before their appointed time — wounded and defeated.
This is not surprising when people are thrust into extremely challenging cultures and spiritual environments. We may think our missionaries are wearing “Superman” costumes under their clothes, but it is not the case.
1 – It is necessary that we, in their supporting churches, take concrete steps to educate ourselves in how we can proactively come alongside our missionaries. We cannot assume their primary sending organizations or our churches are automatically taking care of these essential needs. (Serving as Senders – Today by Neal Pirolo is a great place to start.)
2 – Proactively pray for your missionaries/families relational, mental, emotional and spiritual health. This is vital, so they, and the people whom they are reaching out to, can flourish in the fullness of God’s design for their lives.
May we joyfully labor with our bothers and sisters in this essential work!