Before the terms “Cyber Monday” or “#GivingTuesday” were coined, my family as we prepared for the mission field experienced the most amazing Christmas ever. We were preparing to leave to serve as missionaries in South Sudan in January of the new year. A big church in our city (not our sending church) adopted our family during the Christmas season. The church’s middle school, high school, and college groups did Christmas shopping specifically focused on the needs of our family as we transitioned from suburbia to South Sudan. Clothing was purchased for us, home-school supplies and curriculum, and dental and medical visits were paid for. My high school aged daughter received an all expenses paid scholarship to go on the high school group’s ski trip. We received more than we needed both financially and materially before we left for the field and it all happened through a focused giving campaign during the holiday season.
We’ve been back from the mission field for a few years now so around our house we are fully entrenched in the American Holiday Season. Christmas trees, decorations, and left-over turkey up to our elbows. Thankfully, my wife is finished with her Christmas shopping. She always has a plan. She is always thinking about the needs of others and how to make money go as far as possible so she shops for the holidays throughout the year. By the time Black Friday rolls around, she’s done with her shopping. She avoids holiday crowds at the outlet mall and Walmart and focuses on family and friends and making sure the house stays ready for whoever stops by.
This time of year, we’re all in the “thinking of others” mode. Black Friday launches the season we’re thinking about how to bless those we care about the most. On Cyber Monday (the online version of Black Friday), online deals abound and internet spike sharply with online sales. The internet has made shopping a breeze. The moment we think of a need someone has, within minutes, a Christmas present is ordered and queued up for shipment. Santa Clause wishes he had this kind of infrastructure in place.
On the heels of Cyber Monday follows #GivingTuesday. If you’re a meticulous planner like my wife, #GivingTuesday is an excellent time to take care of your year-end giving.
If you’re reading this on the Shepherds Staff Mission Facilitators web site, then you are someone who cares about caring for missionaries. You know that those on the mission field are ambassadors sent out from our churches as well as representatives of Jesus spreading the gospel.
While we’re shopping and spending time with family, missionaries are serving in places that celebrate holidays very differently than we do here at home. This is a time when missionaries from America miss home, family, and church community the most.
Pray about using the #GivingTuesday campaign as a time to take your generosity to missionaries to the next level.
Shepherds Staff Missionaries are involved in church planting, Christian education, serving refugees, outreach to Muslims, rescuing people from human trafficking, and feeding the poor. Ultimately, they are working to make the Name of Jesus famous throughout the world.
Go to the “Give to a missionary or project page” and find your missionary or project by account number or name and be a part of making the Christmas holiday memorable for the missionaries you’re praying for.