“As cold waters are to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” (Proverbs 25:25) As missionaries for several years my husband and I would often use this verse to explain how encouraging it is for a missionary to hear from those that are praying for them. When you are far away “home”, it is a far country. In the same way that cold waters are to our thirsty souls, it is so totally refreshing to get a card, e-mail, and any other communication from “home”. This says: “I am thinking of you and praying for you.”
Sadly, many times out of sight is also out of mind. It is not that we mean to forget the missionaries. It is just that life is an amazing flash of busy things each and every day. As churches and individuals, we financially give and pray for those God has called to serve Him in other places. But, many times we neglect to encourage them emotionally. So many, many times at just the times I needed it most, the Lord would often send encouragement in small ways. What a wonderful blessing to have your heart uplifted, and your steps a little less plodding because someone on the other side of the world thought of you and cared. It is really always the small things after all!
But how can we begin to bless those we love that are so far away?
1. Snail mail as it is now called and formerly known as cards and letters still work! Just buy yourself a page of international stamps. They cost around ninety-three cents each. Yes, it is a little investment but, oh, what a blessing! Once you get going you will just want to keep at it.
2. Birthday and anniversary cards are pleasant surprises. Do you know the birthdays and anniversaries of your missionaries? It is usually located on their prayer card. What a joy to know that someone remembered and you have been a part in encouraging your missionary. Your kids will enjoy sending their friends card and notes too. This is a wonderful homeschool project as well.
3. E-mails and Facebook messages are fast and easy ways to send an encouraging word to someone as well. Just one short line to someone could make their entire day.
4. You can send packages as well (usually small ones are best). It can be quite expensive but the joy far outweighs the sacrifice and it sure makes my mother heart feel better to send small things to our grandchildren. It would be important to find out from your missionary how getting packages works in their country, as each country has its own standards.
There are two kinds of packages that can be sent. The first is the easiest because you do not have to fill out a customs form. All you need is a yellow envelope; however, only printed matter can go inside. I am always on the lookout for little things that are flat that will bring smiles on the other side of the world, such as small coloring book, stickers, little bookmarks etc. The second package is for other goods which are packed in a small box or large envelope. In mailing these goods, you will need fill out a customs form stating the exact contents of what you are sending.
Remembering your missionaries in these ways is truly good news from a far country. There is something in your heart that is so contented when you have encouraged a fellow soldier with cold water.