Missionaries play a unique role as representatives not only of their faith but also of their home churches. They also, through their journeys, allow those at home to be involved through letters and encouragement during their process of reaching those in spiritual and physical need. There are a number of ways you can highlight their work, needs and future endeavours.
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Post a world map on your church notice board and use colourful thumbtacks to pinpoint where various missionaries are serving in the global community. Below the map, use colours that coordinate with the thumbtacks to share information about the missionaries, their families, primary focuses, needs and pictures. Children will also enjoy learning what the missionaries eat, the type of housing they live in and what the weather is like where they live. Include addresses so members can send cards, gifts and encouragement to them.
Create a collage of pictures for your congregation. Don't worry about using captions or detailed descriptions that explain each photo. Instead, allow the pictures to speak for themselves. Ask missionaries to send photographs of them actively involved in serving others. They can even include pictures that speak to the exhaustion that can sometimes ensue as a result of working tirelessly for those in need, for example by sending a snapshot of a napping minister or nurse after a long day. This collage will serve as a pictorial tutor that will bring to life the dedication and selflessness that defines the work and lives of missionaries.
Attach small plastic flashlights to the four corners of the notice board and title it "Missionary Spotlight." Each month, include a different missionary to focus on, so members can become better acquainted with those who are far from home. Place their photo in the centre of the board and then arrange various components that describe the work they're doing. You can list prayer requests on one side---and don't forget to highlight prayers that have been answered. In another area on the board, include facts surrounding the country in which they're serving. For instance, include demographics such as population, poverty levels, illiteracy, child mortality rates and religious statistics. Highlight the missionary family's personal information, like birthdays and anniversaries, hobbies, wish lists (books, music, special clothing items) and fun titbits. Finally, post weekly updates from the family or their representatives, so church members can keep abreast of what they are facing over the month.
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