For many years now, PJ and I have desired to move overseas to live where the gospel is not well known. At this time, though, God is having us stay in our home country. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that we can’t take part in advancing the gospel worldwide! I wanted to share some ways that our family participates in the global missions effort while remaining at home.
- Amazon Smile: This has got to be the easiest way to support missions! When you link your Amazon account to a charity, a percentage of your purchases is donated to that organization. We signed up to have our qualifying Amazon purchases support the International Mission Board. Our purchases personally donate a small amount, but when a lot of people participate it adds up! As if you needed another reason to shop on Amazon…
- Connecting with missionaries: I’ve made it a habit over the past year to email our personal missionary contacts regularly. Every time we receive an update, I send back a quick note letting them know that we stopped and prayed for their requests. We’ve also done a Skype session with friends in Nicaragua, which the kids really enjoyed! I’ve heard back from the missionaries that they really appreciate connecting with people back home. It’s also been a blessing to me to develop better prayer habits and more connected relationships with our friends far away. Over this past year, I actually got to know our small group’s adopted missionary family via email. What a blessing it was to meet in person when they returned this summer—a friendship forged over months of emails!
- Prayer Basket: I’ve seen this idea on several blogs, and I’ve really enjoyed incorporating it into our home. The basket is filled with Christmas cards and missionary prayer cards that we receive throughout the year. During our morning devotional time, I pray for the family on the card in front. When we’re done, the card goes to the back of the basket. When we receive a new missionary update, I move that card to the front so we can remember to pray in a timely manner. It takes us a few months to rotate all the way through the basket. This has been a good way for us to keep in touch with missionaries as well as families from all the places we’ve lived!
- Sponsorships: We supported two Compassion kids before coming to seminary. Honestly, during our sponsorship, I felt like we weren’t doing anything that mattered. It just seemed like a “good” thing to do at a time when we had plenty of money to spend. Since then, however, I’ve learned that these sponsorships make a huge difference in the lives of these kids. They aren’t just pictures on a wealthy American’s fridge—they’re real people, really living in poverty, who really need hope and help. The Lord has grown my heart for suffering people worldwide as we ourselves are in the midst of our own difficult circumstances. As we transition out of the tight seminary budget, I look forward to again partnering with sponsorship organizations. Some of my favorites are Compassion, Help One Now, and The Exodus Road.
Those are some ways our family participates in missions. Have any other ideas to share?