Sometimes I don’t know what to write. As a sender, I don’t have the same challenges as those on the field, and it’s difficult to give words of encouragement for situations I’ve never experienced. I want the Lord to direct my words and use them to make a difference (click to tweet). Time to get some input.
I asked a Behind the Scenes gal for topics I could write about from a sender’s perspective. She didn’t hesitate to respond, “Write about the yokefellow ministry.” Gulp. I had to be honest – confession time: as part of this ministry, I haven’t lived up to the expectations of a yokefellow.
My friend didn’t skip a beat. I experienced God’s grace through her response. There was no reason why I couldn’t start over. No need to let the failures of the past define me, I could chose to do what I knew the Lord wanted me to do today. How refreshing!
So what is the Yokefellow Ministry? It’s based on the words penned by the apostle Paul to the Philippians:
And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. Philippians 4:3
Paul was asking the Philippians to come alongside those who were working in the ministry and to help them. In much the same way, a yokefellow is an advocate and partner in the ministry. He/she steps up to care for a specific missionary family’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs – before they leave for the field, once they arrive, and when they return.
You might be wondering what this looks like when a missionary is on a foreign field and the sender is back in the states. I’m glad you asked!
Getting involved as a yokefellow
Here are a few things you can do for your missionary:
*pray specifically for them
*write/email them regularly
*keep up to date with their ministry so you can encourage them and share their work with your church
*remember their birthdays, holidays and other special days with a card, gift, or telephone call
*pass on any special prayer requests to your church so the pastoral staff knows how to pray
*send occasional care packages to encourage them or help meet some of their needs
*send them Sunday morning sermon CD’s so they can continue to learn from the church and feel more a part of the body
*give them a subscription to a magazine like Time or Newsweek so they can keep up with what’s happening in the states
*consider visiting them on the field
*mail their prayer letters for them
*help take care of their home while they’re away
These are just a few ideas that allow us senders to come alongside our missionaries and help them in tangible ways while they’re serving. I can only imagine the challenges missionaries face when they arrive on the field – from language barriers, to homesickness.
The Yokefellow Ministry was designed to minimize these very real issues. Develop a relationship with your missionaries and partner with them to reach others with the gospel (click to tweet). Are you ready to get involved?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your grace and mercy. When I fail, You pick me up and give me another chance. Help me have a love for Your missionaries and a desire to help them with the ministry You’ve given them. Help me be a faithful yokefellow. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Love in Christ,
Maria I. Morgan
*Ideas for getting involved as a yokefellow were adapted from Yokefellow Teams, Vision Baptist Church.
*Maria I. Morgan is an inspirational writer and speaker and is passionate about sharing the truths of God’s Word with today’s generation. She lives in sunny Georgia with her husband and daughter, two dogs and two cats. Visit her on the web and download a free copy of her eBook, God Speaking. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter!