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I have faithfully supported a missionary all my adult life. With retirement around the corner, I’m not sure I can continue. Is there something I should do before my donations end?

After consulting with my Resonate colleagues, many of whom are full-time cross-cultural missionaries, I have grouped their suggestions into three main ideas:

1. Connect with the missionary and let them know how your circumstances are changing and how much you have appreciated the opportunity to support them over the years. Then stay connected! Continue to receive their prayer letters and bless them with your ongoing engagement by sending letters, emails, or Facebook messages and by remembering them in your prayers.

2. Serve as an encourager of missions. If possible, visit the mission context. See the good work to which you have been contributing: meet the people, listen to their stories, and be blessed. With more free time, many retirees take the opportunity not only to travel and experience God at work, but to join in by volunteering on site for several weeks or more. Becoming an advocate for missions and missionaries at home is another meaningful and significant way to continue to support missions. Your generosity over the years can inspire others to give. Your familiarity with what it's all about—bearing witness to the good news of Jesus’ love for the world—can encourage others to come alongside full-time missionaries as we all seek to participate in God’s mission, both locally and cross-culturally.

3. If our financial circumstances change, we might still be able to offer monetary support in different ways. One might consider reducing one’s monthly giving. Even $10 per month can make a huge difference! Or perhaps one could make occasional contributions through matching gift campaigns so that your gift is multiplied. A final way to extend your financial support is to include the missionary or agency in your will.

In the end, perhaps the best way to faithfully support missions is to remember that we are all missionaries, all made and called to be God’s sent ones filled with the Spirit and God’s great love to be what Jesus has already called us: the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt. 5:13-14).

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