The Church, Missions & Technology

Receiving Gifts

Everyone loves a new gift from time to time. “Gifts are symbols of love” says Dr. Chapman. So could this be a way for churches to show missionaries that they love them. I believe so. I think it is important to understand that most missionaries do not have a great deal of wealth or physical possessions. The church can help provide needs, and wants to the missionaries sent out to make disciples of all nations. Dr. Chapman talks about how gifts go across all cultures. Even when we lived in the Middle East my wife could not say that she liked a ring or necklace from another woman because she would give it as a gift to my wife. I hope and pray that churches love and care for their missionaries to the point that we would freely give them our possessions.

It is important to remember that the gift does not always need to cost money. It can be something hand made. We loved receiving cards from children in our sending church. We would hold some of the cards back and open them randomly so we could experience the love of this church more spread out during the year.

One last gift that I think you should give is the gift of presence. This is just being with the missionaries you support. Understand that this is not the same as working with them on a mission project. This is a gift of spending time with them. Presence is always important. This is especially true in the moments of crisis. When I talk to churches who have missionaries in difficult places I always make sure they have a plan to move at a moments notice to go and be with missionaries in times of crisis. Believe me, they will go through more than one crisis in their time on the mission field. Our family went through a traumatic experience early on as missionaries. We were hurting and confused. It would have meant so much to us to have some close friends from our sending church come and minister to us during this very difficult time.

Remember that any gift from the heart will be appreciated by those receiving it. Gifts help those serving away from home to still feel connected and not forgotten by those who are praying for them. Gifts are a physical reminder that they are loved and appreciated.

Things you can do…
Today: Send a missionary an E-giftcard to Amazon or iTunes.
This week: Have your small group write cards of encouragement to missionaries you support.
This month: Find out what the missionaries really love to receive. Find a way to get it to them as a surprise.
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