Pastor, I know you’ve got a lot on your plate and the last thing you need is more stuff to deal with. But you ought to know about a few needs that your missionary has. And not just you, but your staff and congregation as well.
I’ve been fortunate to serve Christ in two countries for a total of 11 years. There were times when I wished my home church knew about some issues I was facing, but felt like they might not understand what I was going through, or perhaps think badly about it, so I kept my mouth shut. That got me thinking about other missionaries, wondering if they had the same thoughts I did. So I surveyed a number of missionaries currently serving overseas to ask them what was the one thing they wanted you, their pastor, to know. From their answers I’ve come up with five things that the average missionary wants you to know.
Now, I want to warn you, you might not like some of what you will read. In fact, you might be a little offended. But please don’t be. You see, your missionary has a unique point of view and set of experiences that the vast majority of pastors and congregants never get to have. In addition to spiritual warfare, they face unique pressures of culture, loneliness, and anxiety for a host of reasons. So when they come home for a furlough or time of rest they want to escape their host culture for a while and enjoy their home culture. But guess what?