The following article is reprinted from The Fundamentalist Digest, Nov.-Dec. 1997 (Don Jasmin, editor)–
In reading a copy of the Baptist Magazine (London, 1820), the writer read correspondence indicating that around the years 1819-1820 there was a group of 100 seminary students at the Andover Seminary in Andover, Massachusetts, who met regularly for the sole purpose of collecting material “concerning missions” to “enable each member to determine whether it is his duty to become a missionary.”
These students prepared dissertations on missions regarding various foreign countries from the materials collected and then read them to the entire group. The Andover Seminary library was also seeking periodicals and books dealing with missions to add to its collection so that the above-mentioned students would have larger resources from which to draw, as they pondered God’s will for their lives.
Could a group of 100 students be found in any fundamental Baptist seminary in the USA today who have banded themselves together solely for seeking God’s will concerning missionary service? Christian writers termed that era “the Age of Missions.” That pioneer missionary spirit needs to be revived in our fundamental Baptist circles today. [No Baptist seminary existed at that time; Andover was an orthodox Congregational seminary where the Baptists in America sent most of their students until the founding of the Newton Theological Institute later in 1 the 1820's-editor]
As a missionary arrives to minister at your church, it is a real pleasure to be able to take them (all of them or just the wife) to the missionary cupboard and allow them to get things they need.
The number of items given will be up to the church. Keep in mind the size of their family and their ability to get it back to the country they are from.
Also keep in mind that since all countries are different as to what a missionary can bring in without either it getting “lost” or having to pay a heavy duty the bigger and heavier items may go unclaimed.
Here are ideas for stocking this cupboard.
BABY ITEMS: blankets, small quilts, diapers, wipes, sleepers, baby toys, powder, lotion, Q-tips, diaper rash cream (traveling can really upset little ones J.P.)
CLOTHING: socks, pantyhose, scarves, ties, shoeshine kits, umbrellas, jewelry, knee- highs
COSMETICS: aftershave lotion, colognes, bath oils, combs, brushes, deodorants, emery boards, nail files, nail clippers, shampoo/conditioner, hair spray, hand creams, moisturizers, perfumes, soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair clips, barrettes, hand mirrors, nail polish/remover, toiletry bags, wet ones, feminine hygiene products
DECORATIVE ITEMS: baskets, candles/holders, figurines, vases, florist lay, pictures, picture frames/hangers, mirrors, lamps, framed verses
GAMES: games for car, puzzles, craft kits, coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, markers, construction paper, art paper, puzzle books, balloons, soft toys, regular games
HOUSE/YARD ITEMS: cleansers, clocks, clotheslines, clothes bags/pins, contact paper, curtains, feather dusters, flashlights, household brushes, ironing boards/pads/covers, laundry bags, clothes hangers, small rugs, scrub pails, sponges, dish detergent, spray starch, spot cleaner. Batteries, spray paint, repellents, paintbrushes/rollers, vegetable/flower seeds, how-to magazines, masking tape, electrical tape
FOR MEN: special tools for the yard, car, home repair (those things they are unable to purchase overseas – it’s probably a good idea to have tools in metrics since most countries other than the US are on this system.)
KITCHEN ITEMS: bread pans, pie pans, muffin tins, cookie sheets, aprons, cutlery, dishes, hot pads, measuring cups, mixing and measuring spoons, oven mitts, recipe cards, tupperware/rubbermaid, small appliances, spatulas, can openers, spices, flavorings, cupcake liners, recipe cards (remember that they may not be able to use the same wattage for small appliances)
LINENS: bath mats, towels, washcloths, mattress covers, bed pillows, blankets, quilts, sheets, shower curtains and hooks, tablecloths, place mats, cloth napkins, napkin rings.
MEDICINE: Aspirin, pain relievers, first aid items, medicated creams/ointments, sunburn lotion, vaporizer, vitamins, band aids, blistex
MUSIC: hymnals, songbooks, piano/organ music books, musical instruments, music tapes and Cd’s,
“The best things I love from the missionary closets are music tapes. Its so hard to find good Godly music and when you do you usually can’t afford it. What a wonderful surprise to get tapes when you go to a church to visit. Its one of the nicest gifts, especially when you travel for hours and hours in a car.” (M.K.)
OFFICE SUPPLIES: pens, pencils, construction paper, markers, hi-lighters, greeting cards, thank you notes, stationary, envelopes, note book paper, notebooks, paper punch, stapler/staples/remover, transparent tape, post-it notes, dictionaries, 3×5 cards, postage stamps, rulers, letter openers, portable files, rubber bands, glue/sticks, calendars
PAPER ITEMS: aluminum foil, waxed paper, plastic wrap, zip lock bags, trash bags, plates, cups, napkins, paper towels, tissues, toilet paper, special occasion napkins, party stuff
READING MATERIAL: story books for children, biographies, Bible-study books, devotionals books, Christian novels, magazines, craft books, home decorating books, book marks, blank books for journaling
SEWING/CRAFT ITEMS: buttons, elastic, laces and trims, mending tapes, needles, straight pins, pin cushions, safety pins, zippers, scissors, sewing kits, seam rippers, cross stitch kits, items for making crafts
TEACHING HELPS: Bibles, maps, charts, chalk, flannel graph/boards, puppets, illustrated Bible stories/missionary stories, letter sets/stencils, scrapbooks, stickers, tapes and videos
GIFT CERTIFICATES: Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, malls, restaurants, Home Depot, grocery store, drug store, Christian book store (Watch expiry date! These are best purchased just before missionaries arrive.)
Above article hasbeen modified but originally taken from
BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN THE CHURCH AND THE MISSIONARY
Link included to give credit, but we do not endorse all content on their website.
Here are some things you can put in a letter or email to a missionary:
“Missionaries need communication.Â It can get really lonely at times.Â Â OF course we didn’t have the blessing of email and if it got windy our phone went out so the post office was our life line.”
Each week you can spend time praying in a specific way for your particular missionaries:
Day 1 PRAY FOR THEIR SPIRITUAL LIFE AND WALK WITH GOD
*their Bible study time – that their love for God’s Word will grow
*their prayer life – that it will become stronger and be consistent
*that they will be led by the Holy Spirit
*for maturity and growth in grace
*for victory over Satan, sin and the flesh
I. Deputation/Pre-Field Ministry
A. Help “your own missionaries”
B. Listen, pray and advise them
C. Be faithful in giving
II. Practical Support
A. Invite them over to your home
B. Help them put together their presentation
C. Service their car for free
D. Pray for and with them
E. Distribute updates of their ministry
F. Ask them questions (have a group in while they speak)
III. Prayer Support
A. Pray for their personal relationship with God
B. Pray for their moral purity
C. Pray for the priorities they need in their ministry
D. Pray for family relationships
E. Pray for cultural adjustments
F. Pray for co-worker relationships
G. Pray for specific things they share in letters, emails, etc.
A. Send them letters, cards, emails
B. Call them
C. Send them video tapes, music tapes, etc.
D. Go and visit them
E. Send them gifts
F. Adopt them as your families’ missionary
G. Send them preaching tapes from your church
V. Furlough encouragement
A. Be aware of the stresses that they are under
B. What can churches do?
1) Provide housing and/or vehicle
2) Allow them different times to share their ministry with various groups
3) Help the church get to really know them
4) Provide a retreat/seminar that they can attend to encourage them
5) Take them shopping for things they need
6) Help them with their medical needs
7) Open the missionary cupboard for them (see below for ideas)
8) Fill their vehicle’s fuel tank
9) Make up a basket of goodies
VI. Missionary Conferences
A. Have good communication and be friendly
B. Don’t over schedule the missionaries
C. Have each missionary be a keynote speaker at different meetings
D. Have many times for informal gatherings
E. Provide a children’s conference where the missionaries share with the children
F. Be sensitive to their health needs; special food diets; and don’t over feed them!
G. “Also, its great to be invited to someone’s house…but make sure it does not interfere with what the pastor has planned. Its hard to say ‘yes’ when you don’t know what the pastor wants you to do. So get the o.k. from him and then tell your missionary that you already asked the pastor for permission.”
VII. Missionary kids
A. Include them with other children in the conference
B. Provide them with new clothing, toys, etc. that will help them feel at home
C. Remember their birthdays and special holidays
D. Send letters, cards, packages to the college age Missionary kids also
E. “My kids get birthday cards from some of our churches and they love it. Sometimes they have Wal-Mart gift cards or just a pack of stickers…but they love them.”
F. Craft/Coloring/Travel Box – “Another great thing I have seen done recently: Take a metal cake pan (9×13) with a metal lid and depending on the age of the child, fill it with washable markers, tablets, color books, little cars, etc. for teens you could put a book, a journal, words puzzle games, etc. that way there is a place to store the goodies and a hard surface for playing or writing. You could even put a cover-up so the markers don’t get on the children’s clothing. I recommend markers because crayons melt in the car.
G. “We were given a computerized hand held math tutor that had math games in it that we all played while we were driving. Even Dad played with us. ”
H. Be careful about offering for babysitting services. If you yourself are very careful about who cares for your children, how much more so a missionary family who may not really “know” anyone at your church.
Above articles have been modified but originally taken from
BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN THE CHURCH AND THE MISSIONARY
Link included to give credit, but we do not endorse all content on their website.
At 4:00 P.M. a dusty van pulls up to the church. The passengers peer through finger-printed windows at the only car in the parking lot. Is it the pastor’s? The janitor’s? Or just an abandoned vehicle?
“Oh, please let the church be open,” Mom breathes. Dad hops out with an “I’ll-only-be-a-little-while” look over his shoulder. To Mom, this translates, “Keep the kids in their straitjackets another 45 minutes while I find out what plans the pastor has for us.
Mom sighs. Is it worth crawling over two unfurled sleeping bags, four wired kids and a van full of odds and ends just to use this brief interlude to tidy up? Forget it. Save your strength. Wait till the kids are snoring sweetly in their sacks-say 11:00 PM. or so.
Voices drift toward the front of the van.
“He took my potato chip!”
“But I found it on the floor first!”
“I have to go to the bathroom now!”
The last one cuts through the din like a new paring knife. In one scrambling movement, everyone is tumbling out of the van and hurtling churchward with Mom calling weakly, “Be quiet and don’t run in the halls!”
Beware! Your missionaries are here! To some church folks, they are as familiar as our favourite coffee mug. To others, they are just some family from outer Slombovia. Do you rush to greet them or figure that they’ll never remember you anyway? Will tonight’s service just be another missionary message (ho hum) with slides and a sunset?
Missionaries-are they real? Do they arrive at church Sunday morning, looking like a prayer card, while you struggle with your Sunday School books and an appropriate church smile? It’s not fair, you sniff. You go on day after day in the same place, while they “see the U.S.A. from their Chevrolet”-eating out and staying in motels.
Let’s eavesdrop on a missionary drive to church.
“What do you mean, you left your Bible at the last church?”
“I told you to go to the bathroom before we left the motel!”
“But it was your job to make sure she had her church shoes on!”
I have actually witnessed missionary families, children lined up according to age, sitting primly on the front row, eyes riveted on the activities in front. And then there are others.
Dad sits on the platform. Mom approaches the pulpit to provide the special music. Suddenly, cries of “Mommy! Mommy!” break the sanctified stillness. A small body hurls itself at the soloist and clings like static to Mom’s wrinkled dress. As the offender is trundled off to the bowels of the church, Mom smoothes her skirt and her dignity, resuming her march to the microphone.
Dad begins preaching, the children hanging on every word. Mom is relaxed and enjoying the message. And then, in a stage whisper, one kid innocently shares with folks four pews away, “Dad always preaches this sermon!”
“Mom, I need a pen. No, not a pencil, a pen!”
“Mom, she has my notepad. She’s wrecking my notepad!”
“I know you’re hungry. I told you to come eat your cereal, but you were too busy making a fort with the pillows.”
Church is over; Dad and Mom relax a bit, but wait-the family has been invited out to a buffet! Everyone clambers into the van. The four-year-old is sobbing. Her Sunday School paper is at church, and she desperately wants to show Mom the pop-up Noah looking out the ark window. Dad, waving to home-bound church-goers, speaks out of the side of his smile. “Hurry up. Buckle your seat belts. The pastor is waiting for us to follow him.”
“No, you can’t ride in Johnny’s car,” Mom explains.
“No, I didn’t see the lady in the choir with the funny glasses.”
In line at the buffet, Mom sees her six-year-old (four people away by the pastor’s wife), blithely helping herself to a small scoop of macaroni and cheese, one carrot and three-fourths of a plate of red Jell-O squares. At the table, Mom glimpses her four-year-old dumping a glob of chocolate pudding in her lap, and Mom realizes she forgot to iron “back up clothes.”
After the evening service, Dad and Mom have spoken with every possible person. They’ve smiled their last smile. The kids-obnoxiously normal-are just tired enough (from an afternoon “nap”) to have their second wind. They have been banished to the last pew so Mom could have meaningful conversation lasting longer than 45 seconds. It’s time for marching out quietly to the van-solemnly singing hymns while boarding- fastening seat belts without being reminded and motoring off into that missionary sunset.
Whoops! Look again!
“He got in first and won’t let me by!”
“Can we have a snack when we get back to the motel?”
“I don’t want to sleep on the floor again; it gives me a headache.”
“Was I good tonight, Dad?”
Gardiner was the last to die. One by one he and his companions had been weakened through starvation, cold, and disease until they could no longer stand. In vain Gardiner watched and prayed for the supply ship from England until his eyes, too, were dimmed in death. The last entry in his diary reads, ” Great and marvellous are the lovingkindnesses of my gracious God unto me. He has preserved me hitherto, and for four days, although without bodily food, without any feeling of hunger or thirst.” Forty-six days later a British navy ship dropped anchor and sent a boat ashore, only to find the bodies of three of his companions lying unburied on the shore. A storm drove them away before they could search for Gardiner and Maidment. It was to be another three months before they were discovered near their wrecked boat at Banner Cove. The supply ship did not arrive until some months later.