When you think of what it means to ‘send’ a missionary to the field, what comes to mind? Most people think of giving and praying – which are both essential and important. However, there are many other ways to use your gifts and talents to partner with people on the field. We offer our story as one example to inspire you to expand and redefine the ‘sending’ of global workers you know!
My husband, Daniel, and I have said “yes” to leading an Advocacy Team through our local church for global workers. Advocacy Teams are a way our church has multiplied its ability to communicate with, care for, and support our global workers well (henceforth, I will refer to them as our “friends”). In this reflection, we hope to share some of our experiences in the last year.
This is a flexible model, but in our context the Advocacy Team consists of four roles: Team Leads, Intercession, Physical Needs Manager, Stateside Relations Manager. We commit to serve as long as our global workers are serving, and if God or life circumstances call us to another role, we commit to find our own replacement. We commit to monthly Zoom calls, and communicate back with our church leaders to keep them updated. And we commit to the likelihood of shared spiritual warfare.
What We’ve Done
We’ve been doing this for about a year for our friends, and it has been a JOY! Here are a few things the Lord led us to beyond the baseline commitments:
- We sent birthday gift packages for each family member – after learning from them the best way to send those gifts!
- We prayed together.
- When it our friends were featured at our church’s Sunday Service, we were there to mobilize the Body to pray for their family and the population they are serving.
- We created a shared playlist on Spotify called “Always Good — Covid19” where we mutually encouraged one another to abide in the craziness of 2020.
- We have a group chat on the Signal App where we share quick check-ins, prayer needs, people of peace updates, sick kids, a great podcast, or prophetic encouragements. This eliminates the need for our friends to have a published, edited feedback loop to prayer support that newsletters often require.
- We attended an All Nations training called “Senders University” at our church, and maintain a relationship with a few of the All Nations team.
- We conduct a newsletter “takeover” once a year (at least) to give them a break from communication needs.
- Soon we will beginning a private Instagram account for our friends’ whole sending team to follow.
- We hope to remember Mother’s and Father’s Day this year with small packages or cards for our friends’ parents, acknowledging tension of grief and joy of children and grandchildren living overseas.
- We hope for opportunities to increase funding for our friends.
Hold the Rope
While our friends were support raising, they shared this quote with us from William Carey, “I’ll go down, if you hold the rope”. Don’t let the terminology of “Advocacy Team” trip you up. We’re just friends, some old and some new, committed to holding the rope.
There is no way we can prevent them from every hardship. But we have said “yes” to our friends: yes to journeying closely, offering to carry heavy things when possible, praying often, and, especially, to not forgetting them! None of this is possible without the sustaining grace of God, guiding us and empowering us by His Spirit. After all, HE is the best Advocate and Helper (John 14:16).
Want to be equipped and encouraged as a Sender? Check out our Senders’ U trainings – join one that’s already scheduled, or host one at your location! Can be done in person or online.