We live and work abroad as “missionaries.” Sometimes when we are visiting folks back in the USA, people talk about us as if we were some kind of super Christians. We are not. We are just one small part of the larger Body of Christ. We happen to serve that body in a place a bit further removed from our homes than most people do, but all of us—regardless of where we live—should have the same goal and the same mission: to make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul tells us that the Church is like a body. In fact, he often refers to the Church as the “Body of Christ,” and he tells us that the body has many parts. It has eyes, ears, feet, kidneys, an appendix, fingernails, knees, blood cells, nerve cells, an assortment of different bones, etc. In order for the body to function properly, each one of these parts needs to work in harmony with the others. One part of the body cannot survive in isolation. The body as a whole suffers when one part is injured, infected, or cut off.
We are very aware of the fact that we could not work and minister effectively here in Hungary were it not for the larger body of believers standing behind us and supporting us in an assortment of different ways.
Often the first kind of support that comes to people’s minds when they think of mission activity is financial support. It is very true that without financial support, most missionary activity around the globe would quickly come to an end. That is one of the very practical aspects of living life here on Earth. We must eat and pay the bills.
But just as important—probably even more important—is prayer support. In recent years, as Diane, my former wife, battled cancer, there were days when we just knew people were praying for us. There were days when we felt as if there was a crushing weight upon us and days when we felt like running back to the USA to be with our families…but then we felt the presence of some unexpected, and inexplicable, power. We just knew that folks somewhere else were keeping us in their prayers. As a result, we were often the beneficiaries of a divine strength and a supernatural help that carried us through some very difficult days. There were also many times when we could see that God had miraculously opened up opportunities for us to share our faith and had given us the wisdom and the right words for those specific moments. We knew that something of eternal significance had happened, and we knew it had happened because somewhere someone was praying for us.
Another type of support that we need is encouragement. Even the most hardy missionary can do with a pat on the back once in a while. We have always been grateful for the cards, letters and little gifts that folks have sent us expressing their support and encouragement. We have also gotten great encouragement from the news that people back home actually read our newsletters. Sometimes missionaries wonder whether anyone back there still remembers them and whether their newsletter do more than line the bottom of pet cages. So, if you are one of those who sends notes of encouragement or who reads our letters, we thank you!
We are most grateful to all who support us in whatever way God has equipped them to do so. We are all part of the same body, and we could not do what we are doing here, if it were not for those of you who are standing behind us back home. Thank you!
– By Will Dickerson, OMS Hungary Team Member