HOW TO ENCOURAGE A MISSIONARY
(Exo 17:12‑13) But Moses' hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
Have you ever tried to keep your hands up for a long time? They get heavy really quick. Whether you’re painting or praising, your hands naturally work their way downtown. Moses knew about that. As long as he kept his hands up, Joshua down below would gain the edge in the battle against the army of the Amalekites. But when Moses’ hands became weary he let his hands down and Amalek would triumph. Poor Joshua would be looking up at Moses hoping he would get those hands back up pronto! Finally, Aaron and Hur came along and helped Moses out by supporting his upheld hands. Joshua was very happy about that and Amalek was defeated.
Missionaries need encouragement. They have left all for the call and Satan so often will assault the dedicated servant of the Lord with the hammer of discouragement. Where can they turn? They are far away from home and sometimes they feel so alone. They’ve been working hard, and their arms want to rest. But they can’t! They are in the midst of a battle for souls and they know they can’t sideline. But one shot of encouragement will be the recharging they need to keep going. Someone to come along and to support their hands in the battle so that victory will be won!
So, what can we do? We can pray and financially support and that is great and so needed. But how about the personal touch? Remember what Jonathan did when his friend David was hiding out in the forest from Saul and his evil designs against him? Then Jonathan, Saul's son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God. (1 Sam 23:16) What encouragement that was to David.
To encourage a missionary would be as simple as writing an email or sending a package filled with blessings. One missionary was missing Taco Bell sauce, so a friend sent off a box and the missionary was so happy he probably sang the Hallelujah Chorus in Spanish! And nowadays you can call free over the Internet. And when they take their furlough and come in town for a while . . . well, you know what to do. You spoil them like crazy and lavish upon them time and attention. A listening ear? A trip to the beach? A meal at their favorite restaurant? Introduce them to some friends who might be interested in supporting their ministry? When it comes to God’s agape love, it doesn’t take much to touch. (And if you could ever visit the missionary on the field, you would inject enough encouragement for ages.)
May God bless and encourage the faithful and hard-working missionary. And lead us, Lord, to be part of that blessing!