For a number of years we lived in Africa. Once, a friend said to me that it was important we visit the UK often because the longer we were away the higher she put us on a pedestal. Face to face she remembered that we were just ordinary people with hopes and fears, successes and failures.
Today I want to remind you, as you pray for missionaries you know, that they need prayer for everyday aspects of life as well as the big stuff. Recently as I have read prayer letters from colleagues around the world it has struck me how much the everyday things really matter.
One family serving overseas shared their joy at the eviction of an unwelcome houseguest:
‘One of the scenes in the classic movie The Wizard of Oz shows a gaggle of munchkins celebrating as they sing about the demise of the Wicked Witch. We had a similar scene in our house on Monday when we discovered we had successfully captured our (previously) resident rat. Of course, we did not have quite as many munchkins in attendance, and the joyful song was about a rat instead of a witch, but the essence of the moment was the same. Nearly every morning for the past month or so we would awaken to find its most recent depredation (gnawing or pooing or both), but not anymore! We used peanut butter for bait and rat glue (we are not making this up) to apprehend the not-so-little vermin (8 in/20 cm from nose to butt, plus the tail).’
Why not rejoice with them?
In another newsletter the teenage son of one missionary couple expressed the struggles he was facing as the only Christian in his class.
Do you know other Christian teenagers facing those types of challenges?
Another family shared that the school their children attend is spread over five sites. On each of the sites the headteacher is leaving at the end of the academic year.
How would you feel if the whole leadership team at your child’s school was changing?
So when you pray for cross-cultural workers, by all means pray for their work and the spiritual impact of what they do but also remember to pray for them in the everyday challenges they face:
- Ask God to bless them with a good living situation which is not infested with rats, bats, insects or other unwelcome guests; that your missionary friends may have a secure and clean environment in which to live.
- Challenges that their children face. These are often much the same as the challenges that children and young people in the UK face: friendship issues and peer pressure to name just a couple. Use your imagination and pray that above all they would grow in their relationship with Jesus.
- For good solutions to education needs, church and community involvement. I can guarantee that cross-cultural workers want to live ordinary lives in an extraordinary context.
Get some other ideas to help you pray for missionaries.