Lewis McClendon BCMN
3. Care for their emotional needs. (Be sure to ask about emotional needs)
Paul gave us a glimpse into some of his emotional needs in his second letter to the church at Corinth.
II Corinthians 7:5
“For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.”
There are times in ministry when problems seem to be everywhere. Externally he faced constant turmoil, and inside were fears. The fears were not for Paul himself, but for the churches. There was so much going on that he had no rest at all. We need to be ready to respond to our missionaries in times of emotional stress.
II Corinthians 7:6
“Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus;”
Comfort means to encourage by words or the presence of a person who can help in time of need. When Paul was discouraged, God brought good news through Titus. We can look for ways to encourage our missionaries, especially when we know they are discouraged.
c. Refreshed Spirit
I Corinthians 16:17-18
“I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.”
Refresh means to rest or be revived. Exactly what Paul’s friends did for Paul (other than their presence) is not clear, but whatever it was, it refreshed him. Paul expressed how important the refreshment brought by his friends was by saying that people who brought refreshment are to be appreciated and honored. Our missionaries will appreciate and honor us when we refresh them.
4. Care for their spiritual needs.
1. Books and Parchments.
In II Timothy 4:13, Paul asked Timothy to bring books and parchments. We don’t know exactly what the books and parchments were, but it is obvious that Paul was not finished reading, studying, and writing. Ministry requires personal reading and study of the Scripture and the resources to study the Word for preaching and teaching. We can help meet our missionaries’ spiritual needs by encouraging them to be in the Word for their own relationship with the Lord and by providing them good study aids for preaching and teaching preparation.
Just as we encourage our missionaries to study the Word, we can encourage our missionaries to pray.
Once we begin to think of our missionaries needing our care, more and more ways to care for them will come to mind. They are no different than we are. They have happy times and difficult times. They have physical problems and family problems. They have times of victory and times of defeat. God wants to use us to help our missionaries stay on the field and accomplish the ministry He has called them to. What a great privilege to be a part of that.