Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lumps of Coal? Never! 7 ways to bless the missionary you support this Christmas...

It’s Christmas and that means it’s time to think about a little extra for the missionaries we support.  After all, why shouldn’t they also get the joy of finding something special and unexpected in their stocking Christmas morn?

Lest you think I am being self-serving, okay, maybe I am, but this is not just about Adventures in Life.

Think of me more like the classic Macy’s Santa played by Edmund Gwenn in Miracle on 34th Street. 

In the movie, Santa promises a red fire engine to a little child whose mom gets angry because she cannot find the toy at Macy’s or anywhere else.  Rather than make excuses for Macy’s, Santa sends her to Gimbel’s Department Store, a Macy’s competitor across the street.

He wasn’t doing it for personal gain.  The Macy’s Kris Kringle was just trying to be helpful.

In that spirit, here are my suggestions for some practical gifts that will bless your missionaries, wherever they are, in 2013.

1.  Miles.  No not Miles Davis, although that would be great if your missionary loves jazz.  I am talking about frequent flyer miles.  Give your missionary the gift of miles.  If he or she needs to come home in an emergency, knowing they have a low cost way to do that can be an incredible blessing.

2.  Comfort.  If your missionary has to travel a lot, get them a one year membership in their favorite airlines travel lounge.  Trust me, if you have to spend time waiting for airline connections, a chance to relax in these lounges can be a Godsend.

3.  Music. You can’t send them CD’s, but you can give them an iTunes card and that’s even better because then they can choose what they really want.

4.  Books.  No not the big paper kind, the electronic ones.  Get your missionary a Kindle or a Nook and set them up with an account balance so they can get their first books as soon as they power up.

5.  A vacation.  Call your missionary in Romania, or where ever else they may serving and tell them you want to them on vacation.  And then give them your condo/timeshare that you never get a chance to use.  Or better yet, join them and cover the expenses for the week.

6.  Phone time.  Many people serving in other countries use pay as you go cell phones.  Get their phone number and load them up with time.  This can usually be done pretty easily on-line.

7.  An online subscription.  Get them an online subscription to their favorite magazine or newspaper.  As more and more of these move towards becoming pay sites, access for those with limited financial means becomes even more difficult.

Now I know some of these are going to be out of reach financially for you as an individual, but maybe your small group could go in together and make it happen.

Imagine the blessing, and the encouragement it would bring to someone in the field to know that not only is a group of people in the US committed to praying for them, but that together they also made a material blessing possible?

Finally, let me suggest one more way you can bless your missionaries in 2013. 

Increase their support.  For many serving in other countries, it is impossible to clearly communicate the reality of living on support.  We need people back home to step up and consider even a $20.00 a month increase in giving for His world mission.

But let me challenge you on that potential increase in giving.  Save it up, and next December, make sure they get it.  $20.00, given monthly will end up going to the regular household and ministry expenses.  But a couple hundred dollars received next year at Christmas time will really help those missionary families you know have the ability to bless their families for Christmas.

So there you have it.  7 options, a perfect biblical number, for you to consider this year, and one bonus.

We have been blessed to be a blessing... Help make this Christmas season wonderful for the missionaries you know, pray for, and support.

Merry Christmas!

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