I had a dream last year that took me back decades to the house where I grew up. Do you know what I remember from that dream? The mailbox. For some reason I was dreaming about our mailbox that was on our front porch, and I was worried that no one had remembered to get the mail!
Fast forward to modern day, and I could probably go days without checking my physical mailbox (though I don’t because I’m a creature of habit). Gone are the days when we received letters or cards, addressed and stamped, just for us, though I have a few friends who will still surprise me from time-to-time.
Maybe it’s time to bring back handwriting letters.
Though mail service could be sketchy, depending on the country where I served, I still received letters and cards from family, friends, and supporters. They always made my day…sometimes my month.
Who’s getting mail now?
Is getting mail still important to cross-cultural workers today? Yes. Does it have to be a hand-written letter or card? No, but it does need to be personal.
When I was in the Middle East, I started receiving correspondence from a woman who read about our ministry in a Baptist publication. Sheila began sending cards at various times throughout the year just to say she’d been praying for me. The letter would usually come with a verse and some word of encouragement, and they always came right when I needed them.
I think if the Apostle Paul lived in our day, he would be blowing up the email boxes of church leaders and sending voice messages on WhatsApp, because he knew the importance of staying connected with those he left behind in field.
Correspondence goes two ways though: you have to write to be written.
No one likes a one-way conversation. If you’re serving and feeling neglected, ask yourself when the last time was you wrote your supporters? Did you answer emails or texts from people who showed they cared? Do you ask about their prayer requests and needs or only share your own? When was the last time you dropped a card in the mail (I know it’s not cheap) just to show you were thinking of someone else?
Don’t stay in communication isolation because you’re feeling sorry for yourself.
Reach out in any means you can to reconnect. Remind your supporters that you know the pandemic has perhaps gotten them distracted from keeping in touch. Let them know you are praying for them, as you still covet their prayers for you. Pray for your friends and supporters to be encouraged to renew their connections with you.
Are you a lover of missionaries? Even in good days, they need your notes, emails, texts of encouragement and prayer; so as this pandemic stretches on, realize we need to kick our support up a notch and not be slacking in leaning in with the love. There’s no right or wrong way to show it — just do it!
Thankfully, we all have the greatest piece of mail there is, and it’s a love letter — God’s Word. So, when the inbox or mailbox is empty, never forget that you’ve got mail from the Lover of your soul! No stamp needed.
Grace and Peace