Taking a missionary shopping may sound a little overwhelming, especially if you are an introvert or if you don’t know them well. BUT, believe me, this can be a huge blessing!
There are two ways that I have seen this happen:
- Organize a shopping trip as a church for multiple missionaries visiting at the same time. I know a church that does this every year during their missionary focus week/month and it works well. They assign a designated amount of money for each missionary family, and assign church volunteers to accompany them to the mall. It is an event for all the missionary families and church volunteers to participate in at the same time. They take pictures and then share them on Sunday with the congregation. Many times, the missionaries will buy things like tennis shoes, pants, and bathrobes. You’d be surprised how grateful they are to buy some of these things they have been needing, but unable to afford.
- Take them individually. If you are meeting them for lunch or hosting them in your home, you can figure out a time to take them shopping while you are with them or while they are in town.
Things to consider:
- Decide ahead of time if you’d like to surprise the missionary or let them know ahead of time. It might work best to plan the time, since most missionaries have a schedule to keep when they are back in the United States.
- You don’t have to go to a huge mall. Pick a smaller store if time is short.
- You also need to decide what you want to take them shopping for.
- Are you going to let them buy whatever they want?
- Are you going to ask them to identify something they need?
- Or are you going to offer to spoil them by buying an expensive perfume or makeup?
- What you are shopping for will determine what store you need to go to.
- Do you need to set a budget?
- If you have limited funds, you need to decide ahead of time how much you are willing to spend. If you only have a specific amount to spend, you can let the missionary know how much or just give them the cash and let them spend it.
Have you ever taken a missionary shopping? Consider giving it a try!
Contact your missionary friend and find out what kinds of magazines they might enjoy reading. Learn about what interests they have. What do they like?
- Children’s interests
You’ll also need to find out if they prefer to read it electronically or receive the paper version in the mail. You might check if they can even receive paper versions through the mail…. you’ll also have to check with the magazine to see if they ship overseas (it might cost a little more for overseas shipping). You’ll either need an email or a street/PO address. Look up a magazine that matches their interest and order it for them or their children. Missionary kids usually have less access to many English reading materials.
You can do this on any budget! Many magazines are available at steep discounts at different times through the year. If you participate in the Recyclebank recycling program, you can use reward points to order magazines for other people and it won’t cost you anything!
This is a great idea for a gift that is not a one-time thing…they will keep receiving new issues throughout the whole year. By the way, this is a great gift for anyone!
Here are some links to a few magazines to get you started…just click on the image!
(Some links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.)
(This post contains affiliate links.)
Here is a great idea for family fun if you and your children like puzzles! We recently purchased this puzzle and our 5 and 8 year olds are loving it! We spend time together working on putting it together, and we talk about the countries and illustrations on it. There are 100’s of fascinating illustrated facts about the world. The finished puzzle measures 24″ x 36″.
This would make a great Christmas present…or an activity for the family to do together during the Thanksgiving or Christmas break!
Now is the perfect time to start thinking about Christmas presents for missionaries. I know it seems early, but it is not! You might want to send a package or you might want to donate a special amount of money for them to use in buying Christmas things for their own family.
Sending a package to a missionary with Christmas presents in it is a great idea, but it requires a bit of forethought. Contact the missionary you would like to send something to and find out what they might need or like. Also, find out about how to send a package or what you may not be able to send. It may take weeks or months for them to receive it. For more information on sending a package to a missionary, read: how-to-bless-a-missionary-send-them-a-package-week-5/
Sending money as a Christmas gift is also a great idea. This may allow the missionary to buy Christmas presents for their family that they otherwise couldn’t afford. They might be able to purchase something they have been needing or wanting that wasn’t in the normal budget. Find out how to send them money – usually there is a way to make a payment online through their ministry website, but you may have to send in a check. (An added benefit for you – sending money is usually tax-deductible.)
To make an even bigger impact, join together with your Sunday School class, homeschool group, extended family or neighbors and participate together to give an even bigger gift. Your missionary may be able to purchase the washing machine, motorcycle, or car that they have been needing!
What have you sent to a missionary?