Ideas for Ladies on How to Be a Blessing to Missionaries
Teri sent this list to me from a friend on Facebook who compiled a list of ways to be a blessing to missionaries. The list was prepared to teach a Pastor’s Wives’ class in Bible College. Maybe some of the ideas will help you. Feel free to comment with other ideas you may have.
BEING A BLESSING TO YOUR MISSIONARIES
- Allow your missionary to help around your kitchen or at the church if they offer
- This makes them feel more a part of things and not so much an outsider. Besides, most missionaries are uncomfortable with being “served.”
- Offer travel size toiletries.
- Pastor’s Wife, please introduce yourself to the missionary’s wife as the Pastor’s wife. If you wish to be called “Mrs. ______” then introduce yourself as such, but if you prefer her to use your first name, then introduce yourself in that manner. You’d be amazed how many churches you go into as missionaries and come and go without ever meeting the pastor’s wife or even knowing who she is. This simple and polite gesture just helps to put her at ease.
- Introduce her to a few friendly ladies. If a missionary is single, it is nice for her to be introduced to other single women in the church.
- An invite out for coffee/tea is always nice
- Pedicures and Manicures are usually a welcome treat that most missionaries cannot afford on their own.
- Provide babysitting for the missionary’s children if you have an activity for the adults, or just to give the parents some much needed time alone. When you travel on deputation you are often together 24/7 and appreciate some time apart.
- Give them a map of the area marking and listing grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, dollar stores, laundry mats, thrift stores, etc. Anything you think they might be interested in. These maps can be done up on the computer and updated as necessary with hard copies being printed as needed just before missionaries arrive.
- Be understanding of their children. Being cooped up in a car for several hours can make any child a little rambunctious. We are not asking you to excuse bad manners or disobedience, but cut them a little slack and don’t be too quick to judge. Giving them a place and some time to run off some steam is always a good idea – McDonald’s playland, park, school playground, gymnasium, etc.
- Offer laundry facilities or quarters/detergent/fabric softener to be used at a local laundry mat
- Try to meet practical needs – diapers, thank you cards, Tide to Go Pens, small packets of Kleenex, mints for breath, bottled water, postage, etc.
- Give plenty of notice if you want them to speak/sing. We are taught in candidate school to always be prepared, however, it is nice to have some advanced warning so you can be warmed up and organized. Our desire is to do our best at whatever we are asked to do.
- A shopping trip with you (the Pastor’s wife) and your ladies is a great way to get to spend some “fun” time together. It is a bonus if you give them some spending money. Gift cards are nice too
- Music CDs or Patch the Pirate for kids are a welcome gift since we live in our cars!
- Books, or even Audio books or really good sermon series are nice too. It sure helps makes the travel time go by faster!
- Invite the missionary’s wife to pray with you/your ladies
- It is always nice to get to go out for lunch or supper (or enjoy a ladies night at the church) with you and the ladies of the church. One pastor’s wife did this and asked each missionary there to share her greatest blessing/lesson learned/answer to prayer, etc. from the past year as well as one prayer request. This broke the ice and allowed us to get to know one another better. It also knit our hearts together in a very special way as missionary wives opened up and shared. It makes it easier for you to relate to the missionary wife when you see/hear that she is “just like you!”
- Don’t plan an activity for the men and women at the same time during the kids afternoon nap time if you can help it. If one or the other can stay with the kids wherever they are being accommodated and allow them to have their naps, everything will run much more smoothly.
- If you have a cosmetologist/barber in your church, see if you can get them to donate hair services to your missionaries.
- Don’t keep them out late every night; especially if they have kids.
- If they are staying in the homes of church people, instruct the church people to not keep them up late talking every night after the service; especially if this is a conference. Though the missionaries enjoy getting to know your church family, it is exhausting meeting and greeting people all the time. Just be considerate.
- If you have a Christian school, offer to allow their children to participate or sit in on what would be their class if they attended there. Most missionary mothers home school and would enjoy a break for a few days.
- Provide homeschooling supplies.
- Don’t fill the schedule so full during conferences so that they are all exhausted. I know of one missionary family who had two conferences that were jam-packed back to back and the schedule did not allow their children afternoon naps. By the end of the second conference, their two year old was so ill she had to be medi-vacced to a local children’s hospital because she was severely ill. I realize not all cases are this extreme, but the honest truth is, missionaries hesitate to say, “no” or not participate in all that you have scheduled, and sometimes the needs of the little ones are forgotten when the schedule is made.
- Encourage their children. When you encourage their children, you encourage them!
- If you ask them for gift ideas, give them a price range so that they do not feel uncomfortable offering ideas. We do not want to come across as greedy “moochinaries,” so if you ask, be clear on what you are offering.
- If the missionary has teenagers, encourage the teens ahead of time to befriend them and invite them to any teen class/activities and even sit with them. Those teenage years are some of the most awkward, and anything you can do to make them feel more at ease is a blessing.
- Some churches assign a host/hostess to each missionary couple during conferences. This person is simply their “go to” person when they need something. They also check with the missionary frequently to see if they need anything. If the missionary is speaking, they might provide them with a bottle of water/Kleenex/etc. or anything they might need to help with their responsibilities – copies/overhead projector/etc.
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