Nine ways to bless your missionary this Christmas
Photo by Kris
Thinking of doing something special for a missionary you know this holiday season but don’t know what to do? Look no further! OM missionaries from around the world put together this list of ideas to get you started.
Christmas is a hard time for many missionaries serving away from their passport country. It can also be a busy time ministry wise – spreading the Good News of the birth of Jesus– and may not feel like a holiday at all. Ask your missionary what they are doing this Christmas and how you can pray for them. Commit to praying for them throughout the holiday season and follow up on how they are doing.
Raise funds to give a financial gift to a ministry in the area where your missionary is serving; many places have special Christmas projects that need financial assistance, or ask your missionary if there is a specific ministry on their heart that you could give to.
Mail a card
Though email and Facebook are a lot quicker, there is something special about reading a card that someone took the time to pick out and write. Even if you talk regularly to your missionary, a card is a great reminder that you thinking of them. Get creative! Make the card yourself and include pictures or favourite memories. *keep in mind that if your missionary is serving in a sensitive country you may have to be careful what you say. If this is the case, ask for guidelines before sending.
Send a package
Chances are there are food, games, toiletries or other items your missionary misses. Maybe a kind of candy or a particular brand of coffee; perhaps a phone charger that wasn’t purchased off the back of an ox cart. Come up with your own ideas, but also ask your missionary what they miss the most. It might surprise you that what they’ve been dreaming about for months is a certain brand of toothpaste or a few permanent markers. *ask before you send: some countries charge high fees and taxes to pick up an imported package. Ask your missionary what the best sending method is.
Give them a call
Set up a time to Skype (it doesn’t have to be on Christmas day). You don’t want to interrupt their plans or take them away from local festivities, (and vice versa), so work out a time that fits both of your schedules. Ask them how the country they serve in celebrates (or maybe doesn’t!) Christmas.
Send a picture of your Christmas gathering to let them know that they are missed! Make a short video to say 'Merry Christmas.' Depending on where they are serving (and how quick the mail system is) you might even be able to include them if you do a gift exchange.
Let them know what you are up to
It may seem like your everyday life is mundane compared to the tales of other cultures and far-off lands your missionary shares, but what may seem boring to you could be what your missionary is longing to hear. Your kids say something funny? Have an embarrassing story from your Christmas work party? Celebrating a new achievement? Tell them!
Ask what they need
Sometimes as a missionary it is easier to focus on ministry and team needs instead of personal needs. Be direct, ask them if there is something they need personally. It could be certain supplies they can’t find in their country. It might be the funds to go out for a night and just relax. Perhaps their car has a problem that needs to be fixed. Ask if there is a way you can bless them this Christmas.
Find a scripture (or scriptures)
Look for scripture to pray over your missionary or find verses that stand out to you and share them along with your thoughts. Write the verse out on thick paper and send it to your missionary as a bookmark or note to stick by their bed. Scripture is powerful.