(Recap): We have been posting some special Support blog entries to specifically address the SIX main areas of support, any of which you are welcome to be a part of! We would only ask that you prayerfully consider each one, and let us know if there is a specific area you'd like to be involved in! (some of you are already involved in one or more areas, for which we are deeply thankful!)
To view the previous entries on Communication Support, Prayer Support, and Moral Support, click on this link: Support Entries
What is Logistics Support?
First of all, it is an opportunity for various members of the Body of Christ, who have different gifts, to come together and use those gifts with one united purpose: to see the Gospel preached to the nations! You may very well be gifted in an area that would make you an ideal part of this team!
This area of support is best described by four of its main elements:
"Is ministry really happening with our missionaries overseas?" Too often, the answer is a simple 'I don't know!' But by purposing to have accountability with missionaries, there is both the joy of being involved, and an ongoing reminder of the main focus and purpose for life and ministry.
2) Confirming and Encouraging Spiritual Growth
"Spiritual drought" is a tragic reason why up to 50% of missionaries do not complete or return from their first term overseas. Imagine moving to a foreign country, surrounded at best by a handful of believers who do not know you well, and who you only see periodically- oh, and no weekly church services! Oh-- and no streaming internet (yep, that's right, no logging on to listen to your pastor preaching). This is why it will be important to have some committed individuals who are willing to step into this crucial area of ministry!
3) Managing Business Affairs
Many missionaries are "sent" by a mission organization. But the reality is not so- particularly for us! We are with NTM, whose vision/purpose statement reads:: "...NTM exists to assist the local church through the mobilization, equipping, and coordinating of missionaries..." We are being equipped by NTM, but we are truly in partnership with YOU, being sent out BY YOU! True, NTM helps with some of the logistics. But the role of the church is crucial. Areas included are:
- Money - helping missionaries determine budgets, to see how they're doing, and to help communicate with their financial support teams...
- Taxes - as quoted by Neal Pirolo in Serving as Senders, "Don't let your cross-cultural worker become a horror story of trouble with the government!" Taxes still must be filed every year...
- Health - do you know if your missionaries have health insurance? Also, have you considered safety issues for your missionaries when they are overseas? Your response to that?
- Death - does the church have a plan in place in case of a missionary's death? Also, if a missionary has a close relative (i.e., a parent) that dies, what has been planned ahead for the missionary in that regard?
There are also many "smaller" things that must be taken into account:
- Material Goods - what is left behind that needs taken care of? (Car, house, storage of belongings, help renewing licenses, etc.)
- Family Matters - looking after their parents, caring for their children, housing college-age children who've come back for school, homeschooling assistance, even representing them at their own family gatherings!
- Ministry Needs - mailing items they need, or even special items they request, researching and sending tech equipment
If you feel like this is an area you could/would like to commit to now or in the future, we strongly ask you to get in contact with us! Have you thought of another way to support us through Logistics? Tell us about it!