Behind the Scenes

I often feel like people lose interest and excitement for the work of the ministry in the “quiet” months when there is not an encouragement trip taking place. The trips are the highlight, the outward result, of several months of work behind the scenes.

The process to plan a trip requires constant communication with the missionaries to coordinate dates, arrival and departure logistics, supply needs and pre-trip funding. Often a visa is required to visit these countries so that application process, including a fee, takes place as soon as dates are confirmed. There are also airline tickets and insurance to purchase. And supplies to buy and pack.

The other equally important work going on is raising support funds in order to make the trip possible. These trips are planned in faith that God will provide the funds for each expense occurred before and during the trip. I don’t plan a personal vacation without funds. But I plan these trips without the funds because I trust God will provide them through those people who’ve been called to financially partner with Encouragement Expeditions.

These silent partners are the “senders.” One recently told me that she supports this ministry financially because she is not called to go but she has been blessed financially to send. She’s obediently using the resources she has to be a part of God’s work through this ministry. She then becomes a “goer” through me as I visit missionaries. She’s there with me in spirit because of her financial support. Every person who financially supports Encouragement Expeditions blesses and encourages me so deeply!

Now you know what’s happening right now, this month and the next couple of months, as I prepare a trip for Mali, Africa in June. There are 2 other ladies going with me on this trip. I’m excited we will be able to bless several missionaries while there!  We need your involvement! Pray for the plans being made and the expenses involved. Plane fares were high last time I checked so we are praying specifically for those to be significantly lower when it’s time to purchase. And we would love to have your financial partnership to make this trip possible. There is a donation link above that takes you straight to our non-profit support organization. You receive the tax credit for your donation. You can give one time or set up easy monthly installments.

Thank you for supporting this ministry through prayer and donations. YOU are encouraging missionaries around the world through us!

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Praying for Missionaries

I’ve been wanting to tell you that a great way to support Encouragement Expeditions is to pray for the missionaries serving around the world. Prayer is a vital component to encouraging missionaries that we can all do! I found a great article on how to pray for missionaries.

Repost from Chuck Lawless blog

Our guest post today is from Will, a cross-cultural worker who trains leaders in another part of the world. He writes from his experience, so I encourage you to hear him.

Most believers realize that missionaries need prayer. Their disconnect comes in knowing how to pray for them. The sad reality is that this lack of knowledge means many churches simply say: “God bless the missionaries.” This prayer method is certainly not bad, but it is far from the best. So how can churches pray more effectively for missionaries?

  1. Get to know us, and pray for our ministry. The best remedy for this problem is to get to know “real live” missionaries and ask us how you can be praying for us. Most of us compose a regular prayer newsletter that outlines specific and strategic prayer needs, so ask your pastors to connect you with one of us.
  2. Pray for our people. Missionaries carry the enormous burden each day that their target people group would come to know Christ. Living in isolated places, often disconnected from the outside world or even other believers, we face doubts that slowly creep in: Does anyone else care if these people accept Christ? Is anyone else even praying for them? If you want to pray for a missionary, ask about our people – and then pray for them.
  3. Pray for our physical health. Mission leaders often send people to “hard places” with little clean water and no adequate medical facilities. Moreover, the markets where food is purchased or the restaurants where food is prepared are often unsanitary. Pollution can be so bad that our lungs look like smoker’s lungs. Pray for us to stay healthy so we continue to faithfully proclaim God’s Word.
  4. Pray for our spiritual health. Similarly, some missionaries live in places that are spiritually hard, wrestling in a battle against “this present darkness” (Eph 6:12). Since we are putting ourselves in spiritually dark locations, our walk with the Lord is critical. Pray for us to pursue holiness each day. Pray we would have other believers – perhaps even some from our target group – who would encourage us and challenge us to stay faithful.
  5. Pray for our marriages. Paul teaches that marriage is a picture of the gospel (Eph 5:31) and that a healthy marriage is critical to ministry effectiveness (1 Tim 3:2-5). In some parts of the world, though, missionaries who cannot live in the same location as their target people must travel long periods of time to gain access to them. Such travel can strain a marriage. Language study and cultural adjustments also affect marriages. Pray that both husband and wife would share a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their missionary calling.
  6. Pray for our families. Issues like whether our children adjust well to a new cultural setting, have a stable schooling environment, or develop local friendships can affect the health and happiness of the family. At the same time, many missionaries struggle to support and care for aging parents from a distance. Pray for wisdom as we lead our families.
  7. Pray for our ability to communicate. One of the primary markers of long-term effectiveness on the field is the ability to communicate well in the target language. Language learning is certainly a challenge for those new to the field, but maintaining and improving language ability can also be challenging. Pray that we would love our target language and would choose to be life-long learners.
  8. Pray for us to have boldness. In Ephesians 6:20 Paul asked this church to pray that “words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.” Missionaries sometimes fear that sharing too openly could draw the attention of authorities, lead to persecution, or cause a loss of visa. Like Paul, we need the Spirit to embolden us to faithfully share the Word with the lost around us. Pray we will have this boldness.