Missions is not just about the missionary halfway across the globe in a remote location surrounded by bugs and humidity. It is about understanding God’s love for the world, His unwillingness that “any should perish.” It is about supporting those whom God has sent to minister directly with the lost. It is about reaching out to the lost whom God has placed around you. Here are some practical ways to participate in missions right here in Bozeman.
Reading. Read biographies of missionaries. Read about other countries and cultures. Read the newspaper. Learn about the world beyond your doorstep. Read the missionary letters that are posted on the bulletin board at church. Visit the church library.
Studying. Study the Bible and learn what it has to say about reaching the lost, about serving and loving one another. Apply what you learn in your life.
Writing. Missionaries are far from home, often in a different culture. Letters and emails are a welcome break. A simple card on a birthday can mean a lot. When writing, be careful about what you say to missionaries in sensitive countries. For email, keep your notes small and personal. Missionaries abroad may have to pay for download time. Plain text is fine, but watch images and attachments.
Giving. Missionaries always need financial support. The funds they raise cover both their salary and their ministry expenses. There are regular needs and special onetime needs. Any gift, no matter how small, is appreciated
Meeting. Take advantage of opportunities to meet missionaries who are passing through. Get to know them, their ministry, and the people they minister to.
Serving. When missionaries on home assignment come to visit they need a place to stay. For those who have a prolonged visit, they may need furniture and other basic necessities during their stay. Missions & More (Ann Yocom, 587-2919) meets regularly to sew for the benefit of missionaries overseas. Joining the Missions Committee (Kate Holiday, 406-586-6918) is another way to serve missionaries.
Partnering. There are many opportunities to meet missionaries where they live by going on a short term mission trip or by visiting a missionary during a trip abroad. Even one week will take you out of your comfort zone and give you a taste of what missionaries go through. Local ministries can always use volunteers.
Praying. The two main prayer requests for missionaries are the missionary’s personal walk with God and the openness of the people they are ministering to. If you do not know what to pray, pray through scripture such as Philippians 1:9-11. Come to the missions prayer time during Sunday classes to learn what is happening in the lives of our missionaries and to pray for them. Pray for the missionaries listed here. The more you are involved in learning about missions and missionaries, the better informed your prayers will be.
Any of these steps can be undertaken here in Bozeman. But be forewarned… If you’ve read through these opportunities you will find that any one of them could be the first step towards full time missions work. Many have gone forth from our congregation. Perhaps you will be the next?
If you have a heart for missions and would like to check out the Missions Committee, please call Kate Holiday at 406-586-6918.