This week’s article was written by Emily Kopf and John Kerstetter.
Imagine this: Your church happily sends missionaries overseas. Time passes, and they send regular updates on what they are doing. But then, suddenly, the updates stop. Months pass and you don’t hear from the missionaries. You wonder how to pray for them.
Has this ever happened to you? If so, read on to discover what missionary John Kerstetter has to say about this.
The Empty File Folder
“When I, John, was in Bible school, one of our classes was dedicated to praying for the missionaries on the field. Each missionary family had a file folder, and in them were kept the prayer letters that they sent to the school. During class we were assigned missionaries to pray for, and we were given their file folder to read their letters for prayer requests. One time I was given a folder that was completely empty! I questioned how I could pray for someone if I didn’t know anything about them. It was very discouraging. The son of the family I was given happened to be at the school, so I asked him about the empty file folder. I will never forget his response, ‘The missionaries with the empty file folders are the ones that need the most prayer. They are so busy that they don’t have time to write.’”
Praying for your Missionaries
John’s story is one example of a missionary family who weren’t sending updates, and the explanation was given by their son who knew the situation. Not all situations are the same. There can be various reasons why your missionary hasn’t updated you. Some of those reasons may sound valid. Some may not.
Maybe they are in an overly busy season in life and need your prayers for wisdom in what they should or shouldn’t be doing — or for co-workers to join them in carrying the heavy workload.
Maybe they’re facing discouragement and aren’t sure what to write. Pray for your missionary to be encouraged — and maybe even send them an encouraging note.
Maybe writing is not their strong point, and it’s stressful to pick up pen (or keyboard) and write. Pray for that non-writer to be able to communicate when it doesn’t come naturally, because communication is important.