5 Dirt Cheap Ways to Support a Missionary

On May 16, 2014 by Bethany

58270_4900300102109_1130862558_nSo you’re a friend of a missionary?

Oh, and you’re broke?

But you still want to be a support to them?

Well never fear, here’s a few tips on how to support your missionary friends without spending a dime (inspired by our own friends and family, who support us more than we could ever repay).

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But first off, let me just say a few things to you, from all those missionary friends everywhere.

  • thank you for listening to “how our last trip went” over and over, cause we know, we tell it like 32 times a day.
  • thanks for listening to our struggles, even if it’s something you don’t really get. (“Like, seriously.. the rip in the $20 bill was MICROSCOPIC…but they wouldn’t take it!”)
  • thanks for always speaking out for us, telling others of our ministry.
  • thanks for keeping up communication with us, even while we’re in country, we know we’re bad at it, but you keep us connected.
  • we love that you treat us like people, not celebrities.
  • thanks for keeping us up on all the USA news and trends..(who knew the Giver would be a movie?! awesome!)
  • thanks for understanding our perspectives are different, that disagreeing is healthy and okay.
  • and THANK YOU for calling us out on our junk when we need it, you hold us accountable, keep us grounded.10330390_727109034006577_6215512632014567675_n

The basic thought here is thank you. It’s not always easy I’m sure, to be friends with a missionary. Their lifestyle is different, they’re gone for months at a time and it can be hard work, trying to continue to find common ground when they return. Their accents are different, they have new viewpoints on life issues, they have other friends that you don’t know and a host of other weird things to deal with.

Eric and I are incredibly blessed to have multiple groups of friends who support us and love us. And for most of them, (and us) they don’t have a ton of money. And everyone knows a missionary raises financial support. Fundraising is literally a part of the job description!

We get this question a lot – “How can we support you?” And the first answer is always, monetary support. But we know that not everyone can throw down $100 a month and have some wiggle room left over at the end of the month. So here are some unique and basically money-less ways to support your missionary friends, inspired by our own friends.

1497759_667276746656473_582442351_n1. Use your unique gifts – plug them in

Are you a graphic designer? Have a knack for creating pretty displays? Know a friend with a t-shirt printer?

Talk with your friends and plug in your special gifts into their needs. Almost all missionaries are going to be looking for ways to create prayer cards, fundraising informational packets, t-shirts, items to sell and the list goes on. When I first took off for Haiti, a friend of ours named Robby made my prayer cards as a donation and support of the ministry. This was no Vista-Print/Wal-mart printed glossy picture with WordArt, it was a graphic designers work, on high quality card stock with excellent colors and finish. In short, they were legit. And it made me look legit.

Robby didn’t have to lay down a one time donation of $500 to support us and our cause, he simply allowed a special gift he had to be utilized. And wow, thanks Robby for doing that.

2. Give of your time- don’t ask, just do.10247196_714981031886044_5594230059020947599_n

One of the things that is amazing about our group of friends is this – when we leave for 1 month or two, we never – EVER – worry about our home. We used to get stressed out with the thought of having to prepay all the bills, clean to the point of insanity and have the Post Office hold our mail, general security and the list goes on.

But the first time we left together for the whole summer, we learned quickly that this is where our closest friends and family minister to us. They support us in a tangible way: by taking care of our home and household chores.  Nathan mows the lawn religiously, Jessica waters the flowers, Jonas gets the mail, Dakota spends the night a few nights a week, Garrett checks on the house while Dakota is out, and countless others like my Dad, who just drive by to check on things for us – it’s a huge worry off our minds. Even our neighbors keep an eye out for strange people or vehicles. We make sure we’ve got the bills prepaid and we know our friends have our back. And it provides us with such relief. We know that it takes commitment though, it takes changing your schedule and sacrificing some of your time each week. But to us – it’s a huge gift.

72591_1541322726027_1861503_n3. Brainstorm ways to help them fund-raise – and help them implement it.

My mother is the best at doing this. No event is too big or too small for her. She doesn’t back down from a potential meet and greet thrown at her house and she supports our new t-shirt design. But how does this help us? She follows through the process.

I don’t know how many times my mother has sat with me at the kitchen table and worked on a project till late in the night. Analyzing every piece of jewelry and giving her honest opinion of my pieces and how much to sell them for. Packaging t-shirts, running to the post-office to deliver packages, helping design donation cards and booth setups. You name it? She’s been there, she’s my fundraising buddy. It gives me a person to be a sounding board, someone who can give me the opinion of those who might be looking to support. It seems small, but it’s really a big deal, knowing that we have a partner to help us get something accomplished – we aren’t alone.

1385091_629642540419894_884993419_n4. Just be yourself – and treat them the same as you did before.

What I love the most about our group of friends is this – they treat us like they always have, before we were missionaries, but they don’t forget it’s a part of who we are. We laugh, we joke and we play pranks on each other. We get frustrated with one another, we have differences beyond measure and that’s okay. They include us in every activity – even while we’re gone. They send us encouraging reminders and funny videos via social media while we’re away to stay connected. They never give spoilers to our favorite shows, ever. 🙂

The girls let me be a girl, but the guys make sure I’m not too girly. We go outside together, we act like fools together. They tell me when I’m being overbearing and I tell them when they need to think about life in a bigger way. We argue theology, we challenge one another. We talk about real life struggles, we pray for one another. And it’s refreshing. It’s rejuvenating. It allows us to pick up our friendship exactly where we left it two months prior. We know when we come home, our friends will be here to go eat at Tony’s Mexican place and then watch YouTube videos for 3 hours at someone’s house.

They help us transition home. Back into the rhythms of life here in Cave City. They love us for who we are and that is freeing.

265850_1970633759460_1018278_o5.  Pray for them. Then tell them.

So many of our friends and family are continually letting us know when and how they’ve been praying for us. This, to me, is one of the most comforting and encouraging things someone can do for our family. With all the work and stress of daily life, it’s beyond enough just to know what someone is petitioning the throne of the Most High on our behalf. We know He is always with us, but in those moments where I’m overwhelmed, I remember that I have a host of others who have  my back in prayer.

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I hope that just looking at these few points, you can see “support” in a new light. It doesn’t always mean giving from your funds, although if you want to do that, the donate button is to the right! 😉

Support comes in many forms, there is always something you can do, you might just have to think about it a little.

Thank you to all of our friends who support us continually. We love you.

Be blessed friends,

-Bethany

One Response to “5 Dirt Cheap Ways to Support a Missionary ”

  • You and Eric are definitely blessed with group of friends and supporters who are always there for you. They are great examples of Christian service and true friendship. Now, teach them to make jewelry!!!! Lol

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