By now, hopefully, you have heard or read about Engage’s Orange Letter Campaign. We are so excited about this opportunity to reach out to our missionary brothers and sisters with letters of love, encouragement, and reminders of the grace of God. But in our excitement, we do not want to take this lightly.
Missionaries aren’t super-Christians. They are men and women just like us who daily need the grace and mercy of God. Their struggles and temptations are much the same as ours, though they may experience them to a greater degree. A particularly vile lie Satan can whisper to missionaries abroad is that they are alone and forgotten and that their work is in vain. These are struggles we can speak to with scripture and encouragement.
While we are capitalizing on our opportunity to write letters, we want to keep this in the forefront of our minds. This is a time to encourage brothers and sisters who are nearly cut off from the global Church. Let’s not waste our words with things that are unhelpful or unnecessary. Here are some things to avoid:
Advice. We want to be helpful, but no one knows a missionary’s situation better than himself or herself. Telling a missionary what to do and how to do it, even if you have experience in that field, will hardly ever be helpful. Avoid giving them advice. Instead, point them to the One who can save the body as well as the soul.
Empty words. It can be all too easy to write feel-good fluff, but keep in mind what missionaries face every day. Instead of sending them positive thoughts, remind them that they are not forgotten and that Christ is all-sufficient. Keep Jesus the center of your letter to them. He is what binds us together as the Church.
With that in mind, here are a few things you can include:
Prayer. Prayer must saturate every part of this campaign. That includes the letters themselves. Pray for peace, pray for comfort, pray for wisdom, and pray for strength. Ask God what He would have you pray for them and write it down. Especially consider 2 Corinthians 1, as there is much said specifically about the sufferings of Paul as a missionary.
Scripture. Much of the New Testament was written for Christians enduring harsh conditions, and these verses can be some of the most beneficial things you can include.
Who God is. Jesus is the great treasure of the Christian life. It is easy for us in America to lose sight of that fact in the midst of buying all the things we want. Imagine how easy it would be to lose sight of that while trying to live in a foreign or even hostile environment. Remind our brothers and sisters of God’s character, how He loves, how He never changes, how He has promised to always be with us. Remind them of who God reveals Himself to be in passages such as Romans 8. And if these things are true of God, then “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
With all these things in your mind and heart, please send your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.