How to Encourage Missionaries

8 ways to encourage missionaries and lift up their weary hands.

Many missionaries face discouragement, feeling they have no one to turn to. This is more true than most of us imagine. Some live and work in isolated and/or primitive locations. Many others live on limited offerings, struggling to make ends meet. And they all need encouragement.

8 simple ways to encourage missionaries:

Either the missionaries you know, or that your church supports. Or if you don’t know any, or your church doesn’t support any, talk to your pastor about getting involved in this needy area.

1. Pray for missionaries.

Prayer is the greatest need. Both for the missionaries, and for the people they’re trying to reach. Pray for their needs. Pray for the people they ask you to pray for. And pray for the doors that they need to see opened. And try to recruit others to pray for them too.

2. Help in practical ways.

Offer to pay for their website hosting or help in newsletter distribution. Provide housing for them when they’re home on furough. Send them encouraging books or e-books and music CDs on their favorite music app.

3. Stay in touch.

Write to them. Call them. With all our technology, this has gotten easier than ever, right?? Even send them (and especially their kids) thoughtful little things. Even little things like bookmarks can brighten the day! 

If they have a blog, follow it. And let them know you do by leaving comments, or interacting in some way! How can you pray effectively for missionaries, if you don’t know what’s going on?

4. Be their lifeline of fellowship.

Many missionaries live and work in isolated areas, with little or no fellowship. Even notes or Scripture verses show you’re thinking and praying for them. It helps a lot!

5. Help their kids.

Missionary kids give up a lot for their parents’ choice. Far from friends and family. And it’s harder to make friends across language and culture barriers. Even dollar store goodies stuffed in a padded envelope show them others remember and care!

6. Show real interest in their work.

It’s not just their life, it’s their heart. Find out what’s going on. What they’d like to do, and see happen. Learn of their struggles, their fears, their burdens.

7. Keep in mind how limited their income often is.

It’s hard seeing their own children go without needed clothing, or the people around them struggling to put food on the table.

8. Share your life and everyday news.

It’s hard being far from friends and family. They need to know how you are, and what’s going on, and how they can best pray for you.

It’s really not that hard to lift up the weary hands. But communication is key!

And encouraging others usually lifts our hearts too!

[Photo by zefe on Pixabay.]

Author: Sheila Scorziello

Missionary wife in Italy. Mom, grandma, reader, writer, and lover of coffee, simplicity, and nature.

6 thoughts

  1. Another great post, Sheila. I’ve done two short term mission trips; during that time, I appreciated all the prayers and interest people took in the time I was away. Although it wasn’t a long time, I felt the need! I can empathize with those who are gone for such a long time.


    1. Thanks Jane! Yes, it really does make a difference – especially when you know you’re here for good. Short term missions just isn’t quite the same, because when things get bad you can console yourself with the fact that you’ll be going home soon. But those trips do at least give a taste of what missions is like. At any rate, any missionary friends you have could surely use your encouragement!!


  2. Sheila, I love your response to Levi, above. You are focused on the blessings, not the challenges! No doubt those who know you take note how faith in Jesus positively impacts your life!


    1. Thanks Levi! We know that you and Linda haven’t forgotten us. And that means so much! Actually, though, I wrote this post for the many other missionaries we know (and probably countless we don’t know) who struggle.
      We’ve gotten used to the solitude, and know that Christ has used for good in our lives. It forced us to deepen our walk with him. But we do also thank him that he opened doors for us to travel around Italy ministering–that is our source of fellowship. And we don’t have the cultural struggles many missionaries face; this is simply HOME. And lastly, our financial situation has gradually improved. Partly due to more giving, partly to increased teaching hours, and partly that we have finely-tuned simple living!
      We are happy, content, and blessed. But we do know that many Christians miss out on the priviledge of being more involved in their church’s missionary works. Thanks for your caring, support, and prayers. They are a lifeline!!


Share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.