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Who Cares for Me? Understanding the Role of Care as You Choose a Missions Agency

By Chelsea Rollman, Apr 9, 2024

“Who is going to care for me on the mission field?”

This is an important question that we encourage every new missionary to ask—and answer—before serving in missions. A lack of care on the mission field can have far-reaching consequences, affecting the spiritual, emotional, and sometimes physical health of the individual missionary and the effectiveness of their work.

So as a missionary, who cares for you?

Mission to the World’s Director of Member Care David Thomae says that at MTW we want our missionaries to answer this question in a particular way.

1. God cares for you.

"We want our missionaries to say first of all that ‘God cares for me,’” says David. God cares for you through the Holy Spirit’s direct and immediate work in your heart and through His providential provision as the Creator and sustainer of this world.

God has ordained specific means for His people to experience His loving care and grace. Therefore, we encourage all missionaries to take advantage of the means of grace which include reading Scripture, praying, going to church, siting under the preached word, and participating in the sacraments.

2. You care for you.

The Bible instructs us to take care of ourselves by living wisely. Structuring our lives according to the way in which God has ordered His creation is another way to experience God’s care. This means eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, exercising, taking a Sabbath rest, going to the doctor, and managing your finances responsibly.

3. God’s people care for you.

“God’s people caring for one another is both an expression of what it means to be in Christ and is a powerful witness to the wider world,” says David.

This can take place in the context of a team and MTW has structured our missionary teams with a hierarchy of care. Though this does not happen in every location, ideally each missions team has a team leader responsible for shepherding and overseeing the immediate members of the team. Our teams are grouped into regions and overseen by a regional director and all similar regions are grouped together and overseen by an international director.

Care from God’s people also takes place in the context of the local church—both in your country of service and your home country. Live in Christian community and stay connected to your church partners back home. Allow your brothers and sisters in Christ to regularly lift you up in prayer and to carry your burdens.

4. MTW cares for you.

Mission to the World provides many resources for our missionaries to support them in their work. Every MTW missionary is assigned a resource representative that serves as their primary contact to our organization.

MTW’s Member Care Department also works hard to care for our missionaries through a variety of avenues. They host events like Refresh (our twice-yearly debriefing conference) and help with regional area retreats, which provide missionaries an opportunity to connect with one another, to be spiritually encouraged, and to step away from ministry to relax and rejuvenate. Our Member Care team also offers counseling services, helps with conflict resolution, supports missionary kids through our Next ministry, and partners with other organizations like Parakaleo, which equips church leaders’ wives.

MTW does everything in its power to create a safe environment for our missionaries and employees. Unfortunately, we also know that things like abuse and discrimination can and do happen in Christian circles. Therefore, MTW has set up a confidential safeguarding process to protect our missionaries from any harmful behavior such as physical misconduct, sexual harassment, child abuse, or misconduct from superiors.

“We want our missionaries to be in a network of care. We want them to understand what it means to experience God’s love in their lives … how to take care of themselves, how to care for one another, and how to receive care from the organization,” concludes David.
At MTW, we recognize the importance of missionary care. We have resources, training, and people in place to ensure you will be cared for on the field both because we love you as an individual member of the kingdom and also because we want to set you up for fruitful and productive ministry.

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Pray for God's grace for missionaries as they seek to be an example of love and hospitality to their neighbors while facing ongoing stressors of life.

Pray that missionaries would feel cared for while on the field. Pray, too, for our Member Care Department staff as they seek to care for missionaries well.

Pray for God's work among the nations in South Korea through MTW's Diaspora Ministry.

Please pray for Haiti, and particularly for the safety of our ministry partners in Gonaives as they continue to labor patiently with the people.

As we celebrate 50 years, give thanks for our faithful inaugural missionaries and the impact their legacy has had on global missions.

Pray that God would remind the Western Church of the critical importance of sending missionaries to serve internationally.

Pray for emotional and spiritual health of missionaries and teams.

Pray for the pastors/national partners ministering in the Ukrainian church amid the ongoing war. Pray too for MTW missionaries who serve the church both in-country and from afar. 

Pray for missionary women seeking to juggle ministry and family life in a cross-cultural setting. 

Pray for Freedom Ministries arm of MTW's work in Cambodia, providing a home for girls and young women rescued from trafficking. Pray that the girls who don't yet know Christ come to know Him.


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