I was at the home of a friend, making plans for my son’s fourth birthday party to take place the next day. She had a son the same age, so we were looking forward to doing something special for the kids. That’s when we heard the news and turned on the television: A plane had flown into the World Trade Center.
The year was 2001. I was living in Tunisia, North Africa.
I don’t remember all these years later if we even had a birthday party after that (sorry, Nathan), because all our focus was on what was happening thousands of miles away in our homeland.
What happens in the United States affects westerners in every other country, not just missionaries, and not just Americans.
As we worked to get as much news as we could from that terrible day, we were also in communication with our supervisors and organizations. The US Embassy put out an immediate warning for Americans. Everyone was on edge.
So, as you watch the news and experience your own reactions to the events in Washington, D.C. this week, be aware that it impacts the world and those we support in missions.
What can you do as a mission supporter?
- Pray for the missionaries your church supports.
- Send them an email or Facebook message to let them know they’re not forgotten.
- If you have personal relationships with specific workers, reach out to them and see if there is anything you can do to help them, support their families in the States, or pray for on their behalf.
- Speak up for missionaries in your church, small groups, Bible studies. Don’t let everything be focused just on “our” concerns and needs, pray for those who are struggling with this from afar.
- Commit to checking in on missionaries on a regular basis through cards, emails, texts, etc. Don’t just do a “one and done” act of kindness.
- Trust God to see them through this hard time.
What can you as a cross-cultural worker do?
- Pray for your home country.
- Reach out to your family and church to let them know you’re okay…or not okay. Share specific prayer requests for them to lift before the throne of grace.
- Make sure your teammates and supervisors know what’s happening in your country of service in relation to the rising tension.
- Trust God to see you through this hard time.
As most missionaries know, the balance of power is a fragile thing. What sets off troubles in one country can permeate an entire region seemingly overnight (think Arab Spring). May we all join together in prayer for our nation to quickly stabilize politically and that other nations will not take advantage of the transition and turmoil to destabilize their own country to the detriment of their citizens and the ex-pats living in their midst.
May we all join together to pray the Lord will again respond as he did to the prophet Habakkuk:
Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.Habakkuk 1:5 (NIV)
May we watch together, near and far, to see amazing works of God among the nations. It may start with turmoil, but I pray it will end in an overwhelming turning to Christ.
In the meantime, we watch, pray, and support one another to his glory.
Grace and Peace