This is the second to the last gift idea post, and even though I’m not necessarily doing these in any particular order, I saved two very special ones for last.
In a season where we celebrate our Savior’s birth, I think it’s a wonderful time to spread that message as a gift. Jesus has been the greatest gift I’ve ever received, the greatest gift the world has ever received, and he’s a gift you can give to others by supporting missionary efforts throughout the world.
My home church supported a missionary in Lebanon for several years. Her name was Bonnie Weatherall, and you might recognize her name from the news. She was murdered in 2002, when a gunman opened fire in the health clinic where she was a nurse (click here to read the news story). Missionaries make great sacrifices to share the gospel with others, and many risk their lives every day. When you give to support missionaries, you honor the sacrifices they make, in addition to giving a gift of spreading the gospel.
Missionaries come in all shapes and sizes. When you think of a missionary, you probably imagine a man or a woman living in a tribe of people somewhere in a rural setting, in a part of the world where they live in huts wash their clothes in rivers. But missionaries serve in all kinds of unique capacities, some that might surprise you. Missionaries live and serve in the US, in Europe, Asia, and all over the world. Sometimes, they hold office jobs for Christian organizations. Sometimes, they travel around the country, putting on marriage conferences, like my friends Ross and Taya.
One of the most successful missionary projects today is The Jesus Film. It’s been translated into many languages and used by missionaries across the globe to teach people about Jesus (click here to support the project).
The Christian and Missionary Alliance supports 880 missionaries in 58 countries. To learn more about their work, or to support missionaries in specific areas, click here.
Of course, you can’t say missions or evanglism without mentioning Billy Graham, one of the most influential evangelists in history. His organization, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, sponsors many missionary efforts around the globe (click here to visit the site).
If you’re interested in getting involved with some short-term missions, make sure you check with your church home to see if they are sponsoring any trips. Organizations such as Youth with a Mission (YWAM) also have short-term missions available for people of all ages (click here to learn more about the organization). In addition to sending money to support missionaries, you might want to visit the trenches yourselves, to offer encouragement to those who are working full-time in the field.