We all communicate in some form or fashion. Some use mobile phones, internet, and e-mail. Some meet in person. Some write letters and cards and drop them at the post office.
As a missionary, I don’t think I communicate any more than you. I just wanted to talk about the importance of communicating with us missionaries on the field.
Every month I write thank you cards, letters, and e-mails to the great folks, who continue to support this ministry financially. Occasionally, I’ll make a couple of phone calls to supporters back home to tell them how much I appreciate their regular prayer and financial gifts.
I also try to write something for this blog every week or two. A friend and fellow pastor in Ohio has recently been offering some good blog ideas for me to post. He often makes me think of the basic things in my daily life, and I have appreciated his suggestions.
Sometimes the internet doesn’t work. And that makes it challenging to update my blog or to send e-mails. And there are times when I can’t make a phone call, because the phone service is down. This can be frustrating at times, and I continue to be reminded that this is just one reality of living in northern Ghana.
One of the larger mobile phone companies is called “M-T-N.” This was one of their billboard messages.
Every two months I write a prayer letter. I try to keep you updated on what I have been doing the previous two months. I like including pictures in the prayer letter though some events are hard to capture with the camera.
In addition to these regular forms of communication, I use Skype and occasionally Facebook to chat with friends and supporters. My mom and I try to talk on Skype every couple of weeks which is always a real joy for both of us.
Occasionally, I receive cards and letters of people just telling me what is going on in their lives. Christmas is a big time to receive lots of greeting cards and letters. This past Easter I received a handful of very nice cards.
I like using all these forms of communication, but I will admit the one form of communication that I enjoy the most—and it is most difficult right now—is face to face communication. I miss being able to sit down with a friend over a cup of coffee or tea and simply visit.
Since this is not an option with anyone from the States or Canada, I also very much enjoy a hand-written or typed letter or greeting card just telling me what is going on in your life and also offering encouraging words.
Let me offer a few suggestions for you the next time you’d like to offer some sincere, honest encouragement to me. Write things like:
- You have said that life in Ghana is tough at times, and I cannot imagine the difficulties, but I believe you can do the work that God has called you there to do.
- We thank God for you going to Ghana. You have told us about some of the challenges, and we pray that God will continue to strengthen you.
- I thank God for our friendship, and I care about you very much. Please keep up the good work that God has started in you.
- You are a blessing to us and to those around you. We want you to know that we really believe you can do this work even when it seems the work is overwhelmingly difficult.
- You are not alone in your ministry. We pray for you often that you God will give you peace and joy and rest in Him alone.
I simply want to be reminded sincerely that many supporters—family and friends back home—really do care about me. I know that all my supporters really care about me and this ministry, but I really want to hear this occasionally, because being far away from friends and family, it’s easy to forget.
Thank you very much for your continued support of this ministry. May God be glorified in all you think, say and do.