Friday, July 14, 2017

Letters from Home

I'm joining the Five Minute Friday again today.  Writing for five minutes - unedited and, largely, rehearsed. (I do have to collect my thoughts!)  It's a challenge but it's fun, and the prompt for today is: Comfort.

GO

As I read my devotions this morning, there it is was...comfort.  Ephesians 6:22 - Paul promised to send his beloved brother and co-laborer to the church gathered in Ephesus that "he might comfort" their hearts. Comfort:  to strengthen the mind; to give vigor to the spirit; to cheer."  Paul, even in his distress and deep trial, wanted to comfort those he cared for so deeply and that loved him as well.

There are so many ways we can come alongside and be a comforter to others.  Definitely longer than a five-minute post but one way, in particular, stands out to me this morning - keeping in touch with missionaries on the field.  Emails, real letters, care packages and even texts....that simple connection from home....all do so much to emotionally encourage, mentally strengthen, to refresh and to cheer. To comfort.

TIME'S UP  (so soon???)  Let me wrap this up:

Last year, while discussing ways to support foreign missionaries, a missions director, who oversees hundreds of full-time missionaries, told me the number one reason for missionaries leaving the field, other than for health reasons, is the discouragement of the wife.  It's hard.  It's lonely.  It can be emotionally and spiritually depleting.  I suppose, unless you've actually been on the field, it is impossible to appreciate all that a missionary wife experiences.  Having someone become a Tychicus could make just the difference a discouraged wife needs.

Ephesians 6: 21-22  "But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:  Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts." 

What a privilege it would be to be a comforter - an encourager -  to someone on the mission field! Some thoughts:

* Keep in touch and up to date with what is going on - in her home and in the ministry.  When you write, you can talk specifically about family celebrations, events happening in the ministry and even struggles taking place.  Asking something like "How was the VBS?  Was Johnny's friend from school able to come?"  connects much more than "Hope all is going well this month."

*Help her stay up to date with what is happening back "home" even if she is not from your home church.  Knowing things that are going on helps alleviate some of the feelings of isolation.

*Whether a single lady or married, remember she is a gal just like you.  Yes, she is in full-time service, and I do greatly admire missionaries, but she gets her feelings hurt, she has crummy (less than spiritual) days and can feel just as inadequate as the rest of us.  Her kids misbehave and, no doubt, she and her husband do not always agree.  Don't expect her to be super-woman.

*And don't get discouraged yourself if she is not able to immediately correspond back to you.  Of course, she might be super busy but it could be she has to make a trip into town just to have internet access.  However she may or may not respond, just continue to be a friend.  That is where the blessing will be for you!!




2 comments:

  1. That sounds like some great counsel for wives of missionaries, could apply to wives of pastors or even each other. Sometimes I think we get so wrapped up in our own lives we forget to encourage each other.

    I rarely stick with 5 minutes, lol. Followed behind you this week.

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  2. Jennifer, this is great; we truly need a reminder of how hard the mission field can be, and how much we can offer comfort.

    You'e done a great service here.

    #1 at FMF this week.

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/07/your-dying-spouse-336-gods-lighthouse.html

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