Overseas workers, just like us, have family members that get sick or need extra care from time to time. The difference is that they are not always able to be present to care for them. Many missionaries struggle with being far away from a family member when they are sick. Some have elderly parents that are not acutely ill, but need some extra help with certain activities. Some missionaries are forced to return from their ministry if someone is not available to care for their family member.
So, an out-of-the-box way that you can be a blessing to a missionary is to offer to care for their family member. Examples of family members that may need extra care include:
- Elderly parents
- Sick parents, siblings, or children
- Missionary kids that have returned for school in the United States or are at boarding school
Ways that you can be helpful might include such things as:
- Taking them to doctor appointments
- Sitting with them in the hospital
- Driving them to church, Bible studies or book clubs
- Making meals to take to them or inviting them over for a meal
- Going grocery shopping for them
- Cleaning their house
- Mowing their lawn or doing yard work
- Respite care (sitting with an ill person while the primary caretaker gets a break)
- Giving a care package
A great way to be an encouragement to the missionary is to send them an email or call them on the phone to give them an update about their family member. They will feel relieved and grateful to know that their loved one is being checked on and looked out for.