MISSIONS ADVOCACY AND TEAMWORK
The Missionary Team Adoption Program (MTAP) Partners Churches in the west with churches in the Global South countries (Africa, Asia and Latin America) to jointly sponsor Missionary Teams. Adopting a Missionary Team doesn’t need to be a solitary activity. In fact, we strongly recommend that missionary teams should be adopted by groups. That way you can work with others to support your adopted missionary team, sharing information, reminding one another to pray. This can be done in a number of ways. Existing groups like home bible studies can adopt a missionary team. We encourage each group (Sunday school class, home bible study, ministry team) to adopt at least one missionary team .Set aside a few minutes each time bible study meets to hear any new updates about the adopted missionary team, and pray for them.
BECOME AN ADVOCATE
Remember that your adopted missionary team is a long way off. If you don’t talk about them, people in your circuit will forget them. One of the most significant things you can do for your adopted missionary team is to be their advocate. As you learn new information about your adopted missionary’s life and work, share it with the people you naturally relate with. If something is important to you, it will often be important to your friends. “Introduce” your adopted missionary team to your friends. When your adopted missionary is in town, arrange a potluck so your friends can meet this person you have been praying about. Even before your adopted missionary comes show your friends pictures, read interesting parts of their letters, etc.
If you want to be even more involved in supporting your adopted missionary team, join their support team if one exists. If your adopted missionary team doesn’t have a support team, then consider becoming their “Missionary Representative”.
Daily pray for your missionaries. Weekly give toward your faith commitment. Monthly write a letter of news and encouragement. Quarterly send a small package, especially items unavailable overseas. Annually remember birthdays and anniversaries with a card.
WHAT TO WRITE
What to write? Tell them about what is happening in your life. What God has been teaching you recently. Send them a short list of issues that they could pray about. You could write about your work or hobbies, anything that would let them know more about who you are. Remember, letter writing is two way communication. Ask questions about their lives and work. Ask for prayer request. Find out what God is teaching them.
One word of caution. Some missionaries are in closed countries, e.g. countries that don’t welcome missionaries. Sending the wrong sort of information (something that would imply that the recipient is a missionary or politically active) could be dangerous for the missionary. Find out what communication guidelines are suggested before you send something. The Missions Team can help you learn the appropriate guidelines.