Recently I had the great privilege of a trip back to the United States to connect with our family and friends. As a missionary in South Africa now, our times in the USA are packed full with connecting with those we don't often see. It had been two years since my last visit to America so I had MANY connections to make.
Time as a missionary is spent telling stories, and the Prince family has many, many tales to share of our time living in South Africa. We are journeying alongside people as they come to know God, learn to build their lives, become strong in their giftings and callings, and develop into the leaders that are going to change this beautiful nation. I was at a gathering with some of our supporters and they were asking me to share some stories with them from the mission field. During a pause, an excited supporter asked me to share what was REALLY on my mind. This dear friend thought I was in a spiritual reflection when I actually was just deeply struck with gratitude at the simplicity of what was happening. I told him that I didn't have any spiritual musings, but only a radical thankfulness that I had a group of people who wanted to hear these stories. I was simply struck that someone wanted to listen to me.
As a missionary, we spend time every single day with people who we serve and most of our stories are too intimate and personal to share on social media. But these moments are treasures to us. They are people and hearts and moments and conversations and breakthrough and we hold them so dear to our heart. To have a group of people who simply wanted to hear them meant the world to my little heart, and I think it’s imperative that all missionaries have this sort of support.
How can you be a good supporter of the missionaries you know?
LISTEN WELL. Missionaries are experiencing a high concentration of beautiful moments and dark encounters and they deeply desire to share them. Ask missionaries about these moments and what they have learned from them.
PRAY WELL. Pray for the missionaries you know, and be asking how you can specifically be praying for them. We have a prayer team that covers us spiritually, and it means the world to have people backing us from afar.
LOVE WELL. When you do get to see missionaries, LOVE EXTRAVAGENTLY on them. We are always crazy humbled by our community when we return home from the mission field as they lavish love and blessing on us. Missionaries are usually the ones loving on others so it feels humbling to be filled by someone.
Nine years into our own journey as missionaries we clearly recognize that we could NEVER do what we are called to do without an incredible well of people who have sent us so well. We are grateful to God for all of you!