What in the World is Missionary Care and Why is it Important?Alison Haynes
We all know the excitement of sending out a missionary. That Sunday morning comes. The prayer cards are given out. The missionary is on stage. We pray for the missionary. We are excited and maybe get to give him or her a hug as we head out. And then what? Have you thought about what happens next - or what happened in the months or even years leading to this one Sunday?
For this post, let's look at what happens next. The Sunday of the commissioning is an exciting time for everyone involved. The missionary, fully connected and feeling the love and prayers from the Faith Family, is charged with taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. Packing, goodbyes, planes, and jet lag follow and BAM, the missionary is there, in the heart of the place he or she has been dreaming of for who knows how long.
For some, they go with bundles of cards full of well-wishes. They have friends and family that connect with them quite regularly to begin with. But as the months and years go by, and the cards run out and the calls and texts from the church family wane, who continues to care?
Care is a word that can be used as a verb or a noun. To provide care for someone means to look after their needs. Caring for missionaries is one of our priorities as a church and on the global team. but caring for someone so far away can be daunting. Here is a list of ideas of simple, yet meaningful ways you can care:
1.) Send a text. Think about the last time you got a text out of the blue from someone that was intentional and made you feel good. A well-worded text of encouragement or even news of your bad haircut can make the day of a missionary! And in our world of quick communication and instant connections, it's so easy!
2.) Write a letter or send a card. This is an old-fashioned form of communication, I know I know. But what if you asked for the missionary's address and added him or her to your Christmas card list? Most cards can be sent using 2 Forever stamps! And the global team can help with this! This is also a great way to get your kids involved. I can tell you from personal experience, there's nothing like watching a missionary kid (or adult!) open up cards and letters from his or her small group!
3.) Set up a FaceTime or Zoom call. Praise God for the technology available to us to be able to connect with anyone on the planet at any time! I can tell you that ALL of our missionaries have internet capabilities and would love to see your smiling face on a call!
4.) Pray. Pray. Don't stop praying. We have resources we can give you to give you names and faces and even prayer requests! These same prayer cards you get on that commissioning Sunday can be used around the table, on your fridge, in the car...the options are endless! Let us know if you'd like to have more prayer cards.
5.) GO! We send trips all over the world to visit our missionaries and we would love to help you plan one to visit that friend you haven't seen in way too long!
6.) Join an A Team
What is an A Team, you ask? As someone who spent many years overseas, I can tell you that having a connection with people from your church can make or break your time across the pond, and even affects your stateside time! Having a network of people who know you and are intentionally praying for you and reaching out regularly is what we on the global team call the "first line of care" at Brook Hills - the A Team. Brook Hills is a place, so when that missionary comes back to Alabama for stateside or returns from his time overseas, having people they've been in contact with regularly there on that first Sunday back makes BH seem not quite so gigantic! Most of our missionaries have an A Team, made up of an A Team Leader and at least 5 Brook Hills members. The A stands for four aspects of gospel partnership we see modeled by the church at Philippi - Affection, Advance, Advocacy, and Assistance. These are all ways we as a faith family, support our missionaries. Opportunities abound for you to get involved in an A Team.
Our missionaries are doing hard work. We get the privilege of praying for them as they labor for the Kingdom on the front lines. Let's pray for them regularly. Let's think of them and reach out to them. Let's surround them when they are here in the USA. They need, more than anything, to be reminded of Jesus' love for them through the love of the church. This is Missionary Care.
Alison H serves as the Global Care Associate on our global team and would love to help you care for our missionaries. Please reach out to if you have any questions or would like more information.
*In December 2022, we were blessed to send out 6 missionaries. We now have the joy of considering how we can care for those and others who have been sent out by Brook Hills.