How to Bless a Missionary – Host Them in Your Home (Week #7)

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One way that we have chosen to bless missionaries is to host them in our home. This also has proven to have an added benefit – our kids see the missionaries and get to know them and their children, even if only for an evening. We have been able to host several missionaries for dinners and lunches in our home. This is a great way for a whole family to be involved, and it doesn’t have to cost a ton of money if your family happens to be on a tight budget.

So, how do you do this if you don’t know any missionaries or don’t know when they will be in town?

  • Contact your local pastor and find out what missionaries will be coming through your area. Have your church put you on a list to be contacted when missionaries will be coming.
  • Find out when a missionary that you have befriended might be coming through. We had started following the newsletters from, and had written several emails to, a family in Brazil. We soon found out that they would be coming to the US and we offered to feed them or have them stay with us if they were around our area. They ended up driving through for supper on their way to another destination. We might not have ever met them if we had not contacted them and invited them to come.

Growing up, my family benefited from staying with many different people. We had people in different states and cities that we got to know because we ate or stayed in their home. This was a big blessing to us because we did not have extra money to pay for frequent hotels during our travels. We had many people that hosted us for meals, but we also stayed overnight with many people while travelling. We stayed for several weeks one summer in the basement of a family that offered to let us use it. I also benefited from a family that let me stay with them for 2 weeks one summer until my parents came back to visit churches that summer.

Here are a few things to consider in order to be a GREAT HOST:

  • Make sure that you have a private area for the missionary and their children to sleep. You would think this would not need to be said, but I’m going to say it anyway. Not everyone seems to know this. You don’t have to have a basement or private apartment…. a normal bedroom will do. It is just awkward if there is no way for them to close a door for privacy or if you expect their children to sleep with yours. Remember, they are strangers and may not feel comfortable with this.
  • Find out about allergies. Many people these days seem to have allergies to all sorts of different things. You’d hate to serve spaghetti and find out that they can’t have gluten, prepare food with nuts when they have a life-threatening allergy, or put them in the room the dog normally sleeps in if they are allergic to dogs!
  • Prepare your Wi-fi password. Most missionaries these days are very globally interconnected. They may not have a data plan or internet access, and they will likely be very grateful to be able to use your Wi-fi.
  • Prepare a gift bag. This can be anything your family would like and can afford. Maybe it’s a collection of travel-sized toiletries for them to use while in your home and take with them. Maybe it has travel activities and snacks for the kids. Maybe it has an item for a home (if they are on home assignment). Maybe you can afford to put some gift cards in. Use your imagination and get the kids involved!

Have you hosted a missionary? Share your ideas with us!

How to Bless a Missionary – Advocate For Your Church to Host Them (Week #2)

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Missionaries visit many churches when they are back in the United States on home assignment. Some organizations help set up church visits, but many missionaries have to arrange their own visits to churches during their time in the US.  With so many missionaries out there and a finite amount of churches and money available, it can be challenging for a missionary to get an appointment to talk with a missions committee or present their ministry in a church.

This is where you come in! A pastor is more likely to schedule a time to talk to a missionary or have them present their ministry to his church when he knows that some people in his local congregation know the missionary and believe in their ministry.  Personal connections go a long way!  What can you do?

  • Find out when your missionary will be on “home assignment” or “furlough”
  • Find out from your missionary if they would like to come to your church or if they would like you to ask about it
  • Find out when your church has a “Missions Sunday” or if they allow missionaries to present at other times
  • Approach your Missions Pastor or Lead Pastor with a proposal to have the missionary come. Be prepared to discuss your missionary with them and promote them. They might agree to a meeting with the pastor, a presentation in a Sunday School class, or a presentation from the pulpit. You never know!
  • Have your missionary’s contact information available.
  • If a meeting time is not possible, ask your pastor if your church provides for missionaries needs. Be prepared with one or two specific ideas of needs your missionary will have while in the US.

While this may seem like a waste of time to some or pointless to others, you would be surprised how much this can help! My family was able to visit many churches because of a local connection.  Although not all of them were able to support us financially, some gave a one-time gift, and some joined as prayer partners.  This was invaluable to my parent’s ministry.

Can you contact your local church leadership and advocate for a missionary? I challenge you to give it a try!