A Note from Chris Adams: Today, Deb Douglas talks about ministering to moms of missionaries. Perhaps you’ve never stopped to think about what these mothers go through as they let go of their children so they can follow God’s call to serve all over
The pastor prays over a young woman or man, sending them off to serve on the other side of the globe. The parents wear proud smiles as the church focuses on the exciting adventure ahead. Afterward, church members say, “How proud you must be!” The parents share about how their child will be serving as they put on a mask to cover their fears and concerns. The reality is that as proud as the parents may be, knowing how their child will miss Christmas, Easter, and special family days is piercing to their mom and dad hearts.
What can the women’s minister say to help ease the transition for the mom of
- Serve together. God calls the entire family to missions. While the daughter or son may be the one getting on the plane, the rest of the family is called to support, encourage, pray for, and enlist others to pray and support the mission.
- Be realistic. Thought it’s not easy, it’s best to support a son or daughter obeying God’s call than see him or her live outside of God’s will.
- The world is getting smaller. Skyping, telephone calls, and visits are easy and available to almost every spot on the globe.
- Get to a new normal. God will comfort the parents as a new normal settles into their family dynamics. The ache of missing their child will diminish as time goes by.
- New Direction. Get busy by serving in a new direction! This will help ease those parental pains.
Ministering to moms of young missionaries does not end when the plane taxies to the runway. Try these ideas to help care for the mom’s heart as she misses her child:
- Continue to pray for and encourage the mom.
- Build a support team of prayer warriors for the missionary and the parents.
- Send cards or notes of support and encouragement and invite others to do so also.
- Offer the moms fun new opportunities to serve.
- Introduce the mom to other moms of young missionaries.
- Include Skyping with the young missionary at an event to encourage women to pray and support both the missionary and his or her family back home.
The women’s minister can be a vital link in the lives of families on mission! When someone connected to your church goes on mission, get involved! Your support will make a difference!
Dr. Deb Douglas is the minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is also a freelance writer and contributed to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, Revised & Expanded. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, mother-in-law to Emily and Jacob, and grandmother to Caroline and Lincoln.