Friday, July 27, 2018

On Caring for the Ones that Go: A post on Missionary Care

On Caring for the Ones that Go
By Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table

Today I'm sharing this devotional over at my neighbor's blog  

June is a Christian Fiction (Romance) Author, and has published over 15 books! Funny how God put another writer right across the street... only HE could orchestrate that. Our offices actually face each other! Although we write different genres, we still encourage and pray that God would use our words for His glory.

Since it's still summer, and many missionary families will be preparing to return to their home fields, I wanted to share this post here too, to serve as a reminder of how we can love them well. Remember we ALL have a job to do in missions: GO or SEND. Let's all send well!


Do you know a missionary currently living in another country? Perhaps they are living someplace “closed” or dangerous for the Gospel to be shared. Whether they are serving “here, near, or far away” there are things we can do to partner with them in their ministry, and encourage them as they do the work that God has called them to do.

1. You can pray for them.
I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance. Philippians 1:19 NLT

I speak to many missionaries every month that say that they never know if people READ their newsletters or pray for them!

Do you get newsletters or monthly prayer updates? Pray for them as you read it, then tell them in a short email that you have prayed for them. Use caution if you are corresponding with a Missionary in a “closed” or dangerous country. It’s best to use “code” and not use words like “missions,” “church,” “work,” “God,” “Jesus,” or even “pray.” Instead, say something like this: “Today I thought about you and your many needs.” Give your note of prayer as a gift of encouragement that doesn’t need to be responded to.

2.  Gift them a gift card via email, for no reason at all.
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. James 1:17 NLT

Using their favorite music app, gift the new favorite worship cd you’re listening to, or make a playlist of music they might enjoy. You’ll want to be sure to ask for the best email and program to use. E-books are great too! Consider an online retailer gift card if they can receive mail deliveries where they are. This will take a little bit of planning, but once you’ve got the proper information it’s easy to do and greatly appreciated! You can ask them to create a “wish list” or just give the card online so they can choose what they would like (or need).

3. Provide for their needs when they are state-side on furlough.
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. Proverbs 3:27 NLT

Arrange for a rental house (stocked and clean), loaner car, gift cards for gas or groceries, and for a few fun things (movie and dinner out). Yes, they could stay with family members, but that’s not always relaxing. (If they prefer to stay with family, offer to give them a weekend (or a week) away ALONE, no strings attached.)
We often think of their time stateside as “vacation,” but it’s often the time they work the hardest. Every week they are speaking to family members (some who may not be happy that they live overseas), catching up with supporters, and giving presentations to sending churches. It’s good to allow them to have a little room to breathe.

4. If you’ve committed to support them financially, DO IT.
For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. Hebrews 6:10 NLT

Before a Missionary goes on the field, they put together a budget and submit it to their agency (or sending church, depending on the situation). If your situation has changed, give them a head’s up so they can pray for you, adjust their budget in time for the decrease, or raise new supporters.

We all understand that life happens, and hard seasons come. Don’t be afraid to explain to your Missionary what you are going through, and let them know that you need to suspend your support for a season. I know that they are happy to pray with you, and for you, as you are a vital part of their ministry. Don’t stop praying for them as you can still be a vital part of the team!

5.  Encourage them spiritually.
The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you,   for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.  Psalm 9:9 NLT

Take time to pray beyond the newsletters, letting God lead you to pray for things they may not even sense approaching. Pray for the people they are trying to reach, and follow what’s going on in that part of the world with current events, weather, disasters, etc.

Praying Scripture over them is a powerful way to pray, especially when you don’t know what to pray. There are many effective prayers in the Psalms and throughout the New Testament that make fitting prayers for people we care about overseas. Once you select a Scripture, pick out a card of encouragement and send it to them with that scripture written out. If you cannot mail it to them, scan it and email it to them as a secure attachment.

Some of these ideas are more involved, and may be more fun to do as a Sunday School, small group, or Church. Still, there are many meaningful things that can be done from home as an individual. As you begin encouraging your Missionary, I pray that God will use you to share these ideas with others in your Church, so a culture of Missionary Care will begin to grow around you, blessing your Missionary and their family.

©2018 Marina Bromley, Marina’s Kitchen Table. Used with permission.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A Head Start - Welcome Back!

WHEW! I wasn't very good at staying offline this month! Let's just say that too much fun stuff went on, too many grandkids were around (and are fixin' to be back next week!), and not having internet for so long made it hard to stay away from it! My Facebook page has several posts on it, and a few of them I'll share here this week. Thank you for hanging in there with me (trying to be) offline.

There's been some fun and unexpected and fun things going on in my life. Nothing life-changing, but still signs of life, and that's always good. Even when it hurts, it's a great reminder that I don't walk alone and that God is with me (and YOU!) in the midst of it all; the good, bad, boring, desperate and desolate. Everything has a season.

As I prepare to return to online life, I'm excited to give you a little sneak peak of a few changes, a fresh blog design that will work better with photographs in the future, a few returning features for the future (like book and product reviews and give-aways!), a few new things (like recipes!), and of course, shared words and pictures.

Blogging, for me, has never been about the numbers, it's been about the ONE. I often write as if God is the only one who reads my blog, and if He allows ONE other person to read it, I'm blessed. So, that being said, I'm so grateful to know that you're here with me through all these changes. All the moves, career and job changes, seasons of the year and seasons in life. Thank you. I pray that my words and pictures will encourage you as we move forward from here...

Grace and peace,

Broken and Wrong

Broken and Wrong
Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table

I’m not very good at many things, but one thing I am pretty accomplished at: being wrong. 

So often I can stop God’s best momentum in its track, believing I’m too broken, failed too often, am too scarred and gray to amount to much. And certainly God has MUCH more talented people to use than me, right? I sound like Punchinello straight out of a Max Lucado children’s book, except instead of letting others put labels and stickers on me I’m slapping them on myself. Can anyone else relate? 
I have heard this song many times, even sang along on the chorus (and probably made up my own lyrics to sing!), but today I HEARD the lyrics as the author intended. God chooses to use us as we are, broken, scarred, sickly and imperfect. He is not done with us, and we are still under construction.
I’m so thankful for His mercy, so grateful for the cross, so amazed that in the midst of my sinful imperfections He chooses to work in me and through me. I’m humbled, and yet this is the way He intended it to be.
#marinasmusicalmusings #marinaskitchentable
#matthewwest #brokenthings

Monday, July 2, 2018

Enjoy July!

I'm taking the month of July off again, so no news is good news! :)

Enjoy the core of your summer!

See you August 1, with some changes ... 

Romans 12, Parts 2 and 3: Balanced and Beautiful in Christ

The new posts that I wrote for Balanced and Beautiful in Christ are now live on their Facebook page, and here on my new blog site (subscrib...