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June Activate Post: Caring for missionaries


When I used to think of missionaries, I often thought of them as super Christians. They had listened to the call of the Lord on their lives and had obediently responded to that call. Because of their work and outward obedience, their relationship with God was on a totally different level than mine. God would be with them as they carried out His work. If anything, I would need the missionary’s prayer and encouragement, not the other way around.

I was a missionary to South Africa for more than a year. When I began, I was ready to make disciples and change the world for the better. Some of my greatest ministry highlights happened during my time in Africa, but this is one of the many lessons I learned: I needed care from my home church.

There were periods of time when I felt like nobody back home really cared for me. I knew they did, but there were long periods of time when I didn’t hear back from anyone. The “out of sight, out of mind” saying seemed to be a reality. When we did get an email from a friend, I would gather the family around as I read that update from back home. Those brief emails would be like a shot of adrenaline for me and my family.

Toward the end of my family’s time serving in Africa, my missions pastor visited us for a few days. His week with us felt like Christmas morning. His act of love, of just being present with us, helped us finish our season overseas on a strong note.

As you think about the missionaries you support, both locally and overseas, how are you caring for them before they leave on assignment, while they are on the field, and when they come home?

Dean Ousch is the director of partner development for TMS Global.

For more information about caring for missionaries, here are some additional resources.
How to care for our missionaries

How to care for your missionaries