Why Do We Need Missionaries? Part 2

The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:18-20, “18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (NKJV).

Paul explains that God has revealed Himself, His “invisible attributes,” His “eternal power” and His divine nature through “the things that are made.” People are “without excuse” regarding knowledge of God because His existence and character “are clearly seen” through what He has created, what we often call “nature.”

Why do we need missionaries, then, if people can know about God through His creation? The answer is, God has made the truth about Himself plain; “His invisible attributes are clearly seen.” He has shown to everyone His “eternal power and Godhead,” His divine nature, through the created world. Even though the evidence is plain, many refuse to acknowledge it and instead, “suppress the truth” about God. They teach that the natural world is a product of evolution, not the work of the Creator God. They “suppress the truth” by declaring that there is no absolute truth (except that one!), by saying that people don’t need God or that there is no God. Therefore, people don’t need salvation because there is nothing beyond this life on earth.

Others conclude that if God or gods exist, people can do enough good, offer sacrifices or punish their bodies to make themselves acceptable to whatever god or gods there might be. People see in creation that God exists, but they “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” When they stand before God for judgment, they will be “without excuse” because He has made His “eternal power and divine nature” evident. However, if they seek the God revealed in creation He will show them His salvation, as God says to Israel in Jeremiah 29:13, “‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’” The psalmist affirms, “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them (Psalm 145:18-19).

When a missionary told one woman who had never before heard about the one true God who had provided salvation in Jesus, she said, “I always knew there must be a God like that.” In her heart, she yearned for that God and He answered her need to find Him, by sending a missionary to tell her the truth. “‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Even though people can see the evidence of God in creation, we need missionaries because knowing about God is not the same as knowing Him. In order for people to be saved from the death penalty of sin, they must receive the Savior who died to pay for their sin.

Why do we need missionaries? We need missionaries to make clear that the one true God who has revealed Himself in Creation, has come personally in Jesus Christ, the One and Only Savior. We need missionaries to tell people that God has demonstrated His love in Jesus Christ through whom they can know God personally and have forgiveness of their sin and eternal life when they receive Him.

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Why Do We Need Missionaries? (Pt. 1)

After Jesus, our Savior was crucified as a sacrifice and substitute for us to pay for our sins, on Sunday morning some of His disciples went to the cemetery and found His tomb empty. That evening, “when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst and saith unto them, ‘Peace be unto you.’ And when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord” (John 20:19-20). The words Jesus spoke to them then echo through history to us today: “Then said Jesus unto them again, ‘Peace be unto you; as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you’” (John 20:21). Jesus would soon return to the Father. Now He was sending out His disciples as missionaries to the world, just as the Father had sent Him as a missionary to the world that He loves (John 3:16).

What He said to the first disciples He says to us, “‘as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.’” Jesus has sent us to tell the Good News of salvation in Jesus so that when people hear and receive Him, He will forgive their sins and give them salvation and eternal life.

Why do we need to tell people the Good News about Jesus? Why do they need to hear? Why do they need forgiveness and salvation? What’s the problem? Paul dealt with these questions in Romans 1:18-32 in describing the condition of humanity apart from God. Romans 1:18a declares, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness….” People are under God’s wrath because of ungodliness and unrighteousness.

The Bible affirms, “‘There is none righteous, no, not one… There is none that doeth good, no, not one’” (Romans 3:10, 12). The opposing philosophy of the world is that people have a great deal of good in them. Many depend on their “goodness” to qualify them for God’s welcome and acceptance. Some people behave better than others do and some take actions to improve society and help humanity, but nothing is innately good unless it glorifies God. No one can know or glorify God apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ.

In the first part of chapter 3 of his letter to the Roman church, Paul shows that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Here, he follows the pattern of the rest of the Bible, showing that before people will come to the holy God for salvation, they must first see and admit they have sinned against Him and need His forgiveness. We need to be His witnesses to that truth and to the Good News that through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ, God has provided the way for sinners to escape His wrath. In Christ, God provides forgiveness, will save them from hell and give them the gift of eternal life.

Why do we need missionaries? Because all people need to hear the truth of this good news from God and missionaries proclaim it to people around the world!

H. Milton Wilder
Missionary Pastoral Care

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The Inverted Pyramid of Servanthood

Quite a number of years ago at a conference of pastors in Arlington, Virginia, I had the privilege of hearing in person Dr. Richard C. Halverson, at that time Chaplain of the US Senate. He said that when he was a pastor, he refused to chart the organizational structure of the church because it would show people over and under each other, such as Pastor, officers, committee heads and members. He said, “A leader is a servant to servants, all of whom serve the supreme Servant” (My ACMC notes, 7-31-87). If we would recognize that we are servants to each other, live our daily lives as servants in the home, at our jobs, at school, in the church, we would have fewer problems and complaints and could accomplish far more that is valuable for God’s Kingdom.

Many people, Christians included, think, not of servanthood, but of the success and greatness of being at the top. For example, Christian parents encourage their sons or daughters to prepare for a job that pays high dollars, has all the benefits, with plenty of opportunity for advancement, if they don’t start at the top.

What’s wrong with that? It’s been going on for generations. In the New Testament, Matthew writes, “Then (Salome) the mother of (James and John) the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of (Jesus). And He said to her, ‘What do you wish?’ She said to Him, ‘Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left’” (Matthew 20:20-21). The idea, of course, offended the other 10 disciples, who also wanted the esteemed positions. Here was a teaching moment for Jesus to declare, “‘whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26b-28).

Jesus was teaching the concept of the Inverted Pyramid (not the journalistic writing style). The point of the pyramid at the bottom, symbolizes that the measure of true greatness is not how many people are serving under you, but how many people you are serving. We need this servant leadership pattern taught and applied especially in the church, first to leaders (not only to elected leaders, but also to those who exercise leadership), who then model it to others.

Why don’t more Christians become pastors, missionaries or enter other helping professions where the pay is low and the hours long? Maybe it’s the lure of the prestige, importance and success that society values, rather than a desire for the greatness that Jesus taught by word and example. How many Christian parents are willing to give their children in service to God? Instead, they hold on to their children, want to keep them close by and are afraid of being separated from them. The words and actions of many Christians teach that being a servant is too great a sacrifice and pass on to the next generation that the sole purpose of work is to make money rather than being a means of serving the Lord Jesus Christ.

Is our goal to be great in the eyes of the world or great in the eyes of God, to have the temporary wealth, prestige and success of the kingdom of the world (“prosperity gospel”) or the eternal rewards that come from being a servant in the Kingdom of God?

Jesus explained very plainly how to be great: “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant…. I am among you as the one who serves” (Mark 10:43; Luke 22:27). Jesus demonstrated very clearly in His actions how to be great. “Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded,” (John 13:5). “‘For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many’” (Mark 10:45). The true measure of greatness is serving others in service to the “Supreme Servant.”

H. Milton Wilder
Missionary Pastoral Care

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Ministering to Those Who Share the “Final Answer” to Terrorism

As the nation watched, officers captured the second of two young men responsible for another terrorist attack on our country. TV networks repeatedly showed (and continue to show) the horrific and senseless bombings of people at the Boston Marathon. As the investigation has continued, it appears that others are implicated in this inhuman act. What does such a heartless action have to do with Siloam Missionary Homes?

In examining the evidence, it took only a relatively short while for law officers to conclude that the attackers “came here to kill people.” By contrast, our Savior Jesus Christ “has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10), namely, those separated from God because of sin in all its forms. The ministry in which we are involved at Siloam is to provide a temporary home as well as pastoral care for those who are taking the truth of Jesus Christ around the world. Jesus Christ — the Way, the Truth and the Life — is the final answer to sin, including terrorism and all other manifestations of humanity’s separation from the only true God. The message of salvation in God the Son that the missionaries are taking to the world is more powerful than any force that governments, terrorists or even humanitarians can utilize. Only the power of God can change the hearts of people, turn them away from false gods that promise rewards for merciless deeds and grant them forgiveness through faith that Jesus Christ has paid the death penalty for their sins.

We are privileged to have a part in a ministry to those who are declaring around the world the truth of Christ who can bring even a terrorist to salvation.

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Are You a World Christian?

Just prior to His ascension back to heaven, Jesus told His disciples (and us), “‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20). We refer to this Scripture as the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. Similar passages occur in the other three Gospels and Acts. Those who commit themselves to obey the Great Commission become World Christians. Not every Christian is a World Christian, either because of not understanding Scripture and our responsibility or because of choosing not to obey.

The term “World Christian,” used as early as 1920, is not a reference to “worldly Christians,” who claim to know Christ, but live like those in the world who don’t know Him. We have enough of those already, as David Bryant points out. However, he says, “every Christian is meant to be a World Chris­tian, whether you physically ‘go,’ or ‘stay at home’ to provide the sacrificial love, prayer, training, money, and quality of corporate life that backs the witness of those who ‘go’.”1 Monroe Brewer (whose ideas in the quoted source inspired this article) says world Christians are those “so in love with Jesus Christ and so committed to His word that [they] cannot help but look at the world from God’s perspective….” They are “beginning to hear and to see and to think and to feel the way God does about the world because [they are] beginning to develop God’s heart for the world.”2

People with God’s heart for the world are the ones He has used most effectively through history. These are people like Abraham, who knew that God would bless all the world through him; David, whose psalms over and over reflect his understanding of God’s desire for all nations to worship Him; the Apostle Paul, whose vision and min­istry for reaching the world that “God so loved” with the gospel of Christ is unequaled. There are others too numerous to mention in more modern times, like David Brainerd, William Carey, George Mueller, Ida Scudder, Jim and Elizabeth Elliott, multitudes of missionaries and missions-minded Christians desiring to evangelize the world.

World Christians encourage and build up fellow Christians in this negative and critical world. We need to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ to keep on in ministry, not to give in to the feeling of hope­lessness in the task of reaching the world for Christ. We need especially to encourage missionaries. We can send cards and letters and almost all missionaries have email addresses. Call a missionary by phone or Skype. Take your vacation or part of it to visit a missionary on the field. Without exception, the missionaries we have visited told us what an encouragement it was for us to come (but make it a planned visit, when it won’t hinder their ministry). How many missionaries do you know?

World Christians give to the work of the Church and its ministry across the street and around the world. Martyred missionary Jim Elliot said that if you are unwilling to give away your possessions, you don’t own them. They own you. We will never be able to keep them; better to in­vest them in what will last eternally. The physical and spiritual needs of the world are overwhelming. How much is a soul worth? If we were all World Christians, our sacrificial giving would be more than enough to supply the needs of missions outreach. We would no longer spend 95% of what we put in the offering plate on ourselves, because we would see that reaching the world for Christ at home and around the world is the purpose of the Church, the fulfillment of the last command Jesus gave us before His ascension.

World Christians know that God can transform anyone in the world through the power of the Gospel of Christ. Do you believe God can save Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran or Jared Loughner, who shot Gabrielle Giffords and others? World Christians are concerned about reaching the unreached all over the world because they know that salvation is possible for anyone through the Gospel of Christ, the one and only Savior.

World Christians continually pray for the unsaved world and are always ready to “go” wherever God may call them to take the Gospel of Christ.

We need to call on Holy Spirit to show us the world as God sees it, love the world as God loves it, knowing that His Word reveals His plan for the world. In the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the Lord gave John a vision of “a great mul­titude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’” (Revelation 7:9-10). Helping to amass that “great multitude” is the goal of World Christians.

H. Milton Wilder
Missionary Pastoral Care
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1. David Bryant, In The Gap (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1985), 93

2. Monroe Brewer, “What Does it Mean to be a World Christian?” in The Local Church: Seedbed for Missions, ed. John Bennett (Wheaton: The Association of Church Missions Committees, 1984), 14-15.

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Joy to the World

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King….” So wrote Isaac Watts as he paraphrased the last half of Psalm 98. This is the truth that missionaries are proclaiming, indeed the truth that all of us as Christians must proclaim. Although Watts did not write “Joy to the World” to be sung at Christmas, it has become one of the most sung Christmas carols. However, its message, like our message to the world is not only for Christmas, but also for any time and all times. The “earth” has not yet received “her King,” but He has come and He is coming.

Some people erroneously believed that the world would end today, December 21, 2012, not because the Lord has come and is coming, but because the Mayan calendar supposedly predicted it. I prayed this morning that many of those people would recognize that if the world had ended today, they were not prepared for the consequences and that they would turn to God through Jesus Christ. My hope is for them to see that they have to face God beyond this world and they are separated from Him because of sin. They have sinned and need His forgiveness through Jesus Christ who has paid the death penalty for sin and through faith in Him as our Savior, God accepts Christ’s death in our place. “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” is a message they and everyone without Jesus Christ need to heed and I hope you know that Joy this Christmas and always.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
Sing to the Lord with the harp,
With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
With trumpets and the sound of a horn;
Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands;
Let the hills be joyful together before the Lord,
For He is coming to judge the earth.
With righteousness He shall judge the world,
And the peoples with equity.
—Psalm 98:4-9 (NKJV)

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Investing in Missionaries’ Lives

In her article, “Some Reflections on Pastoral Care,” Belinda Ng writes, “While missionary pastoral care may mean different things to different people, it generally encompasses the following elements: understanding the special needs of missionaries, guidance, counseling, sharing, communicating, friendship, fellowship, visitation, crisis care, prayers, encouragement, and affirmation. …” (William Taylor, ed., Too Valuable to Lose: Exploring the Causes and Cures of Missionary Attrition, William Carey Library, Pasadena, 1997, p. 277). From this list of elements, it is evident that pastoral care of missionaries requires study of and sensitivity to the needs of missionaries as well as interaction and openness to involvement in their lives. Ng asks, “How do we provide appropriate and adequate on-going pastoral care to ensure that those sent out remain on the field for as long as possible to fulfill their call to missions?” (ibid.)

The context of Belinda Ng’s article is the problem of missionary attrition, missionaries leaving the field. Her question is one with which we continually concern ourselves here at Siloam Missionary Homes. Our interest is not only in providing for missionaries’ housing needs temporarily, but also in how we might undergird their commitment to their original call to serve the Lord as missionaries. No doubt, God redirects people’s lives, but we see a number of missionaries who don’t return to the field for a variety of preventable factors. Ultimately, of course, the next step in ministry is between the missionaries and God, but how can pastoral care be a positive influence and encouragement at a time when a “word fitly spoken” (Proverbs 25:11) might be the catalyst for arriving at a right decision?

What we really are talking about is Christians caring for Christians in the Body of Christ, the Church, but with a special emphasis on the particular “category” of “missionary,” one sent by the Church. As Kelly O’Donnell says, “Member care is the ongoing investment of resources by mission agencies, churches, and other mission organizations for the nurture and development of missionary personnel. It focuses on everyone in missions (missionaries, support staff, children, and families) and does so over the course of the missionary life cycle, from recruitment through retirement. Member care is also the responsibility of everyone in missions—sending church, mission agency, fellow workers, and member care specialists” (Doing Member Care Well, William Carey Library, Pasadena, 2002, p. 4)

True sending churches realize they must do more than send money to keep missionaries on the field. They recognize the need to be involved personally in the lives of the missionaries whom they support. They learn about and provide care in areas besides financial, while at the same time, meeting financial needs, which they know is essential.

While Siloam Missionary Homes is not a sending agency per se, we want to do our part in cooperating with the church and “everyone in missions” to provide “member care” for the missionaries while they are living here. Please pray for us, give financially and give your time and effort as a volunteer to help with the many tasks on site here at Siloam. Please continue to help us help missionaries that we may be an encouragement to them to “keep on keeping on.” Also, pray about and look for ways that you can care for and invest in the lives of missionaries in your circle of influence.

H. Milton Wilder

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Our Partnership of Obedience

Siloam Missionary Homes, the Staff and the missionaries who come to stay here all depend on God to provide the financial support needed to fulfill the ministry to which He has called us. We depend on the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of the followers of Christ — individual Christians, churches, organizations, businesses — inspiring them to give. They give because they believe in obeying the mandate of Jesus Christ to reach around the world with His gospel. They give because they have a special care for and interest in Siloam’s ministry or the ministry of a particular missionary or field of service. Many Christians give very generously and even sacrificially because they want to see the Word go out into the world and want to make sure the needs of the workers are met.

This is a demonstration of how God works through people. Isn’t it amazing and such a blessing to realize what God accomplishes through us as His people when we work together to obey His call and fulfill His purpose? Just as He called Abraham or the disciples, He has called us. He calls us to pray, give and go, each according to the gifts, abilities and prosperity He has given us. Some of us are able to give large amounts, others give small amounts comparatively, as the Lord blesses. Combining the gifts meets the needs. Some of us can go around the world personally to take the message of Christ. Some of us can go locally with His message. All of us can provide prayer support for each other in our partnership of obedience to the Commission of our Lord. He has called us to unite in being His witnesses “both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Together, we serve in all these representative places at the same time to fulfill our call as His servants and messengers.

Thank you who have become our partners in helping to provide “a place for missionaries to call home.” Let us continue to pray for one another and work together as the Body of Christ.

H. Milton Wilder
Missionary Pastoral Care

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A war to win the world

A war to win the world has been raging for centuries. It is a war between the forces of Jesus Christ and the forces of Satan. Satan thought he won when Jesus gave up His life on the cross, but the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ proved otherwise. After His resurrection, Christ’s fearful followers emerged from hopeless disappointment to become the Holy Spirit empowered warriors sent with God’s love into battle. Their weapon was the Word of God, which they used to make disciples, baptize and teach in Jesus’ name, going as He sent them with the assurance that He would always be with them (Matthew 28:19-20).

The war to win the world is a war fought for and within the hearts and minds of people everywhere. It is a war waged not primarily against atheists, but between religions and believers in Jesus Christ. Satan has used the innate need that all peoples have to worship, to lure them into devising false religions and distorted forms of worship (Romans 1:21-23). These religions teach various means of appeasing a superior being or beings or in some way earning the right to receive rewards of assorted kinds in the afterlife. Because of the profound differences between religions and Christianity, a clash is inevitable. In religions, people put forth great effort in attempting to reach what they call God, while the followers of Christ teach the truth that the only true God has come into the world to reach us in Jesus Christ to offer eternal life in Him.

Those who live for Christ face opposition from many religions. Other religions persecute believers in Christ simply because of their faith in Him. They terrorize Christ’s followers and try to force them with guns, machetes or other means to denounce Christ and convert to their religion. When they refuse, they burn their homes, torture them and kill them, often with the approval of those who could otherwise prevent these atrocities. What kind of religions are these? They destroy churches, confiscate and burn Bibles and no one apologizes. How must we react? With what weapons must we fight?

It is right for our government to stand strong against Islamic terrorism, fighting it with all means to prevent it from taking over our country and the world. It is right for us as Christ to stand strong against false religions to prevent them from taking over the hearts and minds of the peoples of the world. We cannot simply rant and rave against their beliefs as I often hear. Nor can we try to be “politically correct” or “tolerant” toward them in the sense of accepting everybody’s beliefs as equally true and valid. In spite of what they believe, God’s word calls us to love them, even as our enemies, as He loves them.

We must remember what Paul said in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” The war for hearts and minds is a spiritual war, not a war against people. We fight against spiritual forces of wickedness and our weapons are the Sword of the Word of God and Prayer. Our prayer is “that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:3). We win through the gospel of Christ piercing the hearts and minds of those without Him.

That’s why we need to continue to support every mission effort we can to win the world for Christ, not to dominate politically or otherwise, but to free people from slavery to sin and enable them to have the gift of eternal life. This is the gift they can never earn, never gain any other way, except through Jesus Christ; “‘there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved’” (Acts 4:12). Our missionaries are declaring the Name of Jesus to adherents of all religions as well as to those who claim no religion. We can use guns and bombs to deter the advance of terrorists and other evil people, but more will come. The only way to change their actions is to change their hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.

The government spends billions on weapons of war to defeat our enemies while the followers of Christ have the weapons of God’s Word — the Bible — and Prayer that produce lasting results, but small resources to send out Christ’s “soldiers” to use them. Our part is to pray, give and go through the door that God opens for His word (Acts 14:27, Colossians 4:3-4) to share His love as He told us to, and to equip others to go in His name. This is not a time to cut back on missions giving, regardless of the economic conditions. If the times demand more frugal living and reducing expenses, then we must find ways that do not fall into Satan’s trap of hindering the essential task of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

H. Milton Wilder
Missionary Pastoral Care

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Cutting Missionary Support — A Serious Matter

Nobody “pays” missionaries to go and take the gospel to people who need to hear of the salvation available in Jesus Christ. Missionaries go in obedience to the calling of God who has saved them and they desire to share His truth and saving power with those who have not received Him. Although true missionaries do not fulfill their calling for pay, it is necessary that they receive financial support in order to live and serve.

In contemplating a conversation I had with a missionary recently, I realize that there is some “injustice” in the Christian community. The Scripture indicates that Christians are responsible to other Christians who give themselves to serve as missionaries. Paul is a prime example. Another is John, writing to Gaius about those “who went out for the sake of the name” saying “we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers with the truth” (3 John 5-8). Also, Galatians 6 reminds us that we should “bear one another’s burdens” and “do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (vv 2, 10).

The missionary I talked with, now in the States away from the field, uncertain as to the future area where he and his family will serve, must continue to live and provide for his family. During this interim period, he has sensed that God would have him receive seminary education to enhance his ability to carry out his work as a missionary. Because of problems over which he had no control that developed on the field and because he is not actively serving on the field, several churches have dropped the family’s monthly support. (This is kicking the missionary when he’s down.) Now he has taken a part-time job, which reduces the time he needs for study and for contacting other sources for financial support. It is difficult also to raise support without knowing exactly where the next assignment will be. Have you faced a predicament such as this?

In short, now is when churches and individual Christians should come to the aid of this family, rather than cutting off support in their time of special need. Sometimes Christians act on hearsay and rumors (and the economy!) without a clear appraisal of matters and what the personal impact will be. Having pastored a missions minded church for many years and knowing that churches have missions policies, I also know that it is not possible for a policy to cover every conceivable situation. I also know that churches should administer any policy with compassion and concern for the missionaries under their care who are sincerely seeking to serve in a responsible manner. It is a serious step to cut a missionary’s support and it should not be taken without consultation with the missionary and much prayer.

I relate this story as only one example of the difficulties in which missionaries sometimes find themselves. I have talked with other missionaries in similar situations where believers need to come along side of the missionaries, help them bear their burdens, encourage them, support them and truly become “fellow workers with the truth.” They need our love, understanding and empathy, our tangible, practical help and prayer that they “will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3).

H. Milton Wilder
Missionary Pastoral Care

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Siloam Missionary Homes

A Place Missionaries Call Home