Many people would love to help a missionary out, but do not have extra cash lying around to hand out. One practical way that you can help a missionary is to donate services to them. Maybe you own a small business or maybe you have a particular skill that can be useful to them. Even if you cannot donate the entire amount of a service, you might have a coupon for a particular service that would help them out a lot.
Here are some practical examples of ways you might help; use your imagination to come up with other ways that fit your skills and talents!
- Donate services for their car. Maybe they need an oil change or new tires. Maybe they need new brakes. Offer a discount if you have a car repair shop. Give them a free car wash.
- Offer to cut and color their hair. This is an expensive item that many missionaries do not treat themselves to regularly. If you know how to do this well, you can make them feel very pampered. (Just don’t walk up and say, “I can color your hair for you”! That might not be received well.)
- Donate airfare miles. Many people that travel a lot have these stored up. The missionary could use these to travel to churches in the USA or to help pay for a return ticket home.
- Offer to help fix their computer. Missionaries have IT problems just like the rest of us. If you are experienced with computers, you can be a huge help to a missionary with limited funds.
- Do yardwork for them for free while they are in the USA. This can be a huge timesaver and blessing to the missionary. This is also a great way to get your kids involved.
- Take pictures of them. If you can take professional quality pictures, your missionary would probably love to have some new, beautiful pictures of their family. They may need one to update their prayer card, newsletter, or blog.
- Offer free copies. If you happen to own a copy/print store, you can offer to make free copies of newsletters for them. Many churches might also be able to offer this service.
- Donate food. Do you own a restaurant, café, or food business? Treat them to a meal or two. Depending on the establishment, you could donate coffee, donuts, meals, ice cream, or cakes/cookies.
- Share your garden produce. If you’ve spent time and effort cultivating a garden in the summer, you probably have an abundance of produce. Ask the missionary if they would like some fresh garden food. Missionaries travel a lot, and it is a good idea to make sure they will be in town to be able to eat it.
- Do alterations. If you are a skilled seamstress or own an alteration shop, you can help a missionary alter clothing or hem pants.
- Tutor their kids. If you are a teacher, you could be very useful by tutoring their kids. Many MKs struggle to adjust during their time on “home assignment” and a tutor may be immensely helpful.
- Babysit. Offer to watch the MKs for a date night or for the parents to be able to attend doctor’s appointments, etc.
Depending on your skills and talents and what business you might own, you might be able to come up with even more ways to donate services to a missionary. Feel free to comment with other ways! Maybe you can come up with one that I did not think of!
As a former MK, I can testify that this is one way that you can be a huge blessing to a missionary family. Missionaries have limited budgets, and the money they get is frequently allocated to ministry needs and not so much towards things they want. Many missionary kids don’t have the same resources as the kids living in the United States.
Here are some practical ways to bless a missionary kid when they are back in the United States:
- Give them a gift. You can send one through the mail or buy them one when they are back in the United States.
- Give them some spending money. They probably have a list (or at least a few things) that they’d really like, but can’t afford.
- Take them out to eat. Listen to them, and get to know them personally.
- Encourage your kids to include them in parties, youth events, etc.
- Ask them on a play date if they are young.
- Offer to attend Sunday School or youth group with them. It is very intimidating to walk into a big group of kids and be the new, “weird” missionary kid. Even if they are back at their “home church”, it won’t be home for them and they will be uncomfortable. If they know you, you can help ease this transition.
- Sponsor them so they are able to go to a church camp.
- Host them if their parents are out of the country and they do not have a place to stay.
- Write a letter of recommendation for them if they are trying to obtain scholarships for college. (This requires for you to know them.)
- Buy them a gift when they graduate from high school.
- Throw them a “Going to College” shower. They may only have 1-2 suitcases of clothes to head to college, and the needs may be great. You can help provide sheets, pillows, a desk lamp, fan, school supplies, etc. This can be a surprise or you can ask the family what the MK’s specific needs are. You could even provide a gift card shower so the MK and their parents can go shopping and get what they need.
I was blessed to have people do several of the above things for me. I had a “Going to College” shower that was a huge blessing, both to me and my parents. My parents wanted to provide for all the things I might need before they left me and drove thousands of miles away, but they did not have the budget for it. Our local church sponsored a shower for me, and I was able to go to the dorm with all of the basics that I would need for my freshman year. It was a huge relief!
I also had a few people that gave me money over the years to spend on things I might want or need. One man wrote a letter of recommendation to help me get a scholarship for college. One sweet lady took me out to lunch (by myself) several times. Our family knew her, and approved, of course. It made me feel very special that she would invest time in me!
I hope you have been inspired to think outside the box today! How can you bless a Missionary Kid? Let me know if you have other ideas!
There are lots of benefits of being a Missionary Kid (MK), and each MK could probably give you their own opinion of what those benefits are. I could probably come up with a huge list (some funny and some serious). One day I’ll have to do another blog post with a long list. For now, I’m going to tell you four big benefits of being an MK.
Getting to travel is one advantage to being a missionary kid. If you like to visit different countries, sample different types of food, and see exotic places, this is the life for you! Some missionaries have to travel for several days to even arrive at the place where they will live. Some visit different countries due to the type of work they do, and some travel extensively within the country where they serve.
Learning Other Languages
Most MK’s speak, or are learning, at least one other language besides their mother tongue. Some speak 4 or 5 languages. This will greatly depend on the country where they live and amount of languages they are exposed to. It will also depend on each kid’s ability to assimilate a new language. Let’s face it…some people pick up language much more quickly than others. Kids tend to learn very quickly and can have a native accent. Sometimes, people may not realize that the MK’s are foreigners because they speak so well in the language of the country where they live.
Meeting New People
This is great if you are an extrovert! Missionaries are constantly meeting new people, whether this is in the country where they work, or back in the United States while traveling to tell about their ministry. An MK will meet tons of new adults and children and will learn how to establish a connection with new people in a short amount of time.
Adapting to New Situations
MK’s are some of the most resilient people. They spend a lot of time learning to adapt to new situations, and they become very good at it. They can usually quickly identify how to act in order to fit in, and may be viewed as reserved at first. This stems from the need to assess a new situation and decide what behavior is expected.
Obviously, there are many more benefits that could be put on a list, but these are some of the main ones. Feel free to comment with your own ideas and opinions. What are some other benefits?