Every congregation is encouraged to have a relationship with at least one PC(USA) mission co-worker.
What’s a ‘relationship’ with a mission co-worker look like? Well, that’s pretty much up to you, but the mission committee of another Presbytery came up with these three elements:
- Prayer support. This might include prayers as part of worship services or by PW circles, youth groups, mission committee members, or individuals. When missionaries are overseas, they are often faced with difficult situations, from the daily struggle to understand the local language up to an unforeseen disaster – like the recent earthquake in Haiti. Through it all, they are sustained by the knowledge that hundreds of Presbyterians around the country are holding them and their ministry in prayer.
- A connection with the co-worker’s ministry. This involves awareness of the co-workers’ situation so that you know what to pray for. It might include such things as reading the co-worker’s letters and printing excerpts in the church newsletter, writing to the co-worker and sending birthday and Christmas cards, displaying photos on a bulletin board, or listing the co-worker in the church bulletin. Most missionaries love getting church newsletters, even though they often didn’t know the individuals mentioned. It’s a connection to life here in the US, and it helps keep them from getting homesick. Once they return to the US, it’s a thrill to visit a church and see one of their letters on the church bulletin board. This is the power of a connectional church, where we can do so much more together than we can apart!
- Financial support. This might include a regular line in the church budget, a suggested offering per member, or a collection on a particular day. Most missionaries are supported by a wide range of churches, with gifts ranging the entire spectrum of support. Some churches give $75,000 annually which funds one missionary for a whole year. Others give what they can. One small church pledged $102 per year. When the missionary wrote them and asked how they arrived at that figure, they replied that they had passed around a basket one Sunday, and that’s what came in. They figured that “they could do the same next year, too.” Indeed, the Lord works in mysterious ways!