Okay, I'm finally getting to the continued portion of my last blog entry - two months ago! I didn't realize it had been that long!
So, some things have been taking root in my mind about getting more involved with missions. We have friends who are missionaries in different places, but other than catching up on what they're doing when they're in town, that's about all the contact we have. (I'm horrible about keeping in touch by email and even worse by phone. Sadly, if you're not on Facebook and you're not local, there's not a lot of communicating going on.) I want to do more.
We do support one missionary family with a small monthly contribution, as well as being prayer partners with them for one of their children. I would like to work something into the boys' nightly prayer time where they pray for a different missionary family each day of the week: the Finchers on Mondays, the Nolteriekes on Tuesdays, etc. That's the easy part.
I would also like to keep up more frequent communication with the missionary families we know. Scott Way is on Facebook regularly, so I can keep up with his family that way. Some others are on Facebook, but they don't post much or reply much; others aren't on there at all. I need to ask them to include us in their monthly updates, and I need to respond to them. Often missionaries will ask how they can pray for those who support them. I always feel like they're too busy to do that, but they aren't - and they really want to know.
Eventually I'd like to be able to send a small care package every once in a while with things like small toys for the kids, snacks for the parents, etc. I know that can be costly, but maybe if we choose one holiday for each family...
One missionary family we're friends with is stateside, partnering with Cadence. They're based in SC and they host retreats for soldiers every weekend. Recently some friends of ours from church visited them for a weekend to help and they came back with wonderful stories to share of how they were able to minister to soldiers in various ways. They always need people who can help with maintenance on the campgrounds, cook and serve the soldiers' meals, talk with them, play games with them, etc. They are working with the church to plan trips where church members can go for a weekend to help out. Billy and I have decided we'd love to go on one of those trips. He's a great handyman, and I'm good in the kitchen. The boys would love being there, too - and the soldiers love having kids around because they help bridge a gap when they're missing kids in their own families.
I'm not sure when the trips will begin, but we're ready and willing to go!