2020 has brought some unique challenges for missionaries.
Our guest writers today serve as international missionaries. Let remember leaders like them who find themselves “displaced” by COVID.
The year 2020 brought a number of surprises and challenges for Christian ministry. International missionaries are not immune to these challenges. With the closing of borders of many nations, a large number of missionaries had to return unexpectedly to their home country, or they could not return to their field. We’re one of those couples. Here are a few ways you can intercede to the Father on behalf of us and others.
1. Pray for needs to be met. Displaced missionaries have tangible needs. Housing, transportation, and other logistics are usually sorted out long before stateside assignments. Missionaries are finding their options limited during the pandemic. Pray that God would meet these needs.
2. Pray for grace for their grief. Missionaries miss being with the people God called them to serve. During the Christmas season, we grieve the loss of open opportunities to share the gospel and celebrate Christmas with our church families. Missionaries are also grieving the loss of certain foods, familiar rhythms of life, the language we’ve worked so hard to learn, and special traditions and customs.
3. Pray for children who miss their home. Missionary kids find themselves in a foreign land called the USA. While these kids may have U.S. passports, they have very little experience in American culture. They miss their home and long to return.
4. Pray for thankful hearts and peace of mind. The struggles with self-pity, anger, faithlessness, anxiety and resentment are real. God still surrounds us, though, with his presence and his gifts each day; pray that missionaries would see his goodness and rest in his promises. Pray that we would take each moment of uncertainty and anxiety to the Father and allow his peace to guard our hearts.
5. Pray for opportunities to serve sending churches. Missionaries want to be involved in ministry. Even though we’re in a holding pattern, we want to be useful for God’s kingdom. Pray that local churches would identify ways for missionaries stuck in the USA to serve and help the church grow in its Great Commission engagement.
6. Pray for wisdom with overseas ministry. Missionaries can often connect with the people we serve through digital means. Engaging in overseas ministry while in the home country often involves calendar-gymnastics between different time zones. Pray that we would use these tools to help continue effective engagement during this time.
7. Pray for open doors to return. Missionaries long to return to the place God has called them to serve. Pray that countries would find ways to safely accept us back into their borders.
Please spend some time praying about these needs this holiday season!
This article originally appeared on ChuckLawless.com and is reposted here by permission.