In return, the churches feel a sense of involvement with the global mission enterprise of the church through regular correspondence from the missionaries, updates from their field, and even through deputation services while the missionaries are on home assignment. The missionaries are encouraged, knowing people care and pray for them. The relationships built over time personalize names and faces that both the missionaries and their LINKS churches value highly.

You might remember last year our missionary is Brenda Gould.  Brenda is retired from West Africa and currently lives in Ohio. I think we have the privilege of being linked up with a retired missionary because she has dedicated her entire life to missions, and we can learn about her deep commitment, memories, and triumphs. As a church, there are many ways in which we can be involved though this. As we only have a few more months with Brenda as our missionary, let’s work hard to make Brenda feel loved and supported.

One way is through prayer. Recently Brenda shared, “Needs are so great that I hardly know where to begin.  One of the requests heavy on my heart these days is to live a life before those in my apartment building that they will long to know my Jesus.  Pray that my balance will be restored and my legs strengthened.  I will continue to use my walker until I feel confident enough to let go and have no more falls.”

 Another significant thing we can do is send her mail. Brenda’s birthday is coming up, February 12. We distributed cards in service so that you could write to Brenda to wish her a happy birthday. Brenda does not have any immediate family still living, and this is a good way for her to feel connected to our church and for our church to be connected to her.  

A third idea we can do is send gifts. This can make her feel loved and cherished.  Brenda enjoys jigsaw puzzles, reading historic novels and mystery books, and CDs with southern gospel. Other ideas are gift cards, sweaters, and linens.

Finally, one thing that we really wanted to stress is that as a church we support Brenda and all our missionaries through your missions giving. It’s always important that you know where your money is going when you donate it.

Getting to know Brenda and supporting her through her retirement is one way in which we can feel connected to global missions, as well as a way for her to feel uplifted. As she has said, her missionary work is not done:  she still aids in helping people into the missionary field from her apartment complex. She is still doing the work of the Lord, and she has been a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. I hope we will all do our best to stay connected to her.  
Anna Vriesema, Missions Council Treasurer