When I was a kid, missionaries were my heroes. I loved it when they visited our church or when we’d get their newsletters in the mail. As soon as I was old enough for my own email address, I kept in touch with several missionary families. Now that I’m a missionary myself I see how this was instrumental in developing my own heart for missions. I also know firsthand how much most missionaries enjoy hearing from kids. For these reasons (and the simple fact that it’s fun!) I enjoy using email to connect my own bundles of joy with missionaries around the world.
So, what does it look like to do this with kids? It’s super easy and even fun! Here are five easy ideas to get you started. (As an added bonus, I’ve even included 2 sample emails at the bottom of this article that you can copy and personalize to create an email to missionaries with kids in your own church or home.)
FIVE WAYS TO CONNECT WITH MISSIONARIES VIA EMAIL
1. Look at a picture of the missionary and talk about them before you begin.
This will help the kids remember who they are talking to as they write the email with you. Point out on a map where they live and serve. Talk about what they do. (Your kids may even burst into a song and dance about how much they love the missionary like my pint-sized princess did recently.)
2. Tell the missionary a bit about your family or Sunday School class.
Many times I have received letters or emails from people who heard me speak at their church and assume I will remember them. But I feel awkward because I have no clue who they are. It is helpful to briefly introduce yourself the first time you personally contact a missionary. Even if they’ve never met you personally, it will help them figure out how you heard about them so they know you’re not just a creepy stalker. You could even tell them your kids’ names and maybe let each kid choose one thing to share about themselves like this…”Zachary is 10 and he likes playing with LEGO® bricks. Hosanna is 4 and she says she wants a pet platypus…”
3. Let the kids watch you write the email and help you decide what to say.
Many kids will enjoy coming up with stuff to write to the missionary, especially if you prompt them with questions like “Do you want to tell them something about you?”, “Do you have questions about where they live?” or “Do you have questions about what they do?”
4. Attach a picture of your family or Sunday School class.
This personal touch helps missionaries feel more connected with your family or Sunday School class. If they already know you, they’ll enjoy seeing how much the kids have grown. And if they don’t know you, it’s a great way for them to see who you are. It’s the perfect excuse to take a selfie with your kids. (If you want to take and send a picture with your class, be sure to check with parents first.)
5. Send the email and pray with the kids!
Let one of your kids click the send button and then lead them in praying for the missionary you just emailed. (Just a tip: If you have multiple little kids, you may want to keep track and have an official rotation for whose turn it is to press the magical send button.) Ask God to use your email to encourage the missionary and thank God for using missionaries to tell people about Jesus.
These 5 ideas have helped me use email to connect my kids with global missions and I hope they’ll help you too. For even more ideas (and some super cute footage of my kiddos!) click here to watch a short video about 2 ways to encourage missionaries.
In case you’d like a bit more guidance to get you started, I’ve included a couple sample emails below that you can copy and personalize to help you enjoy Jesus with kids by connecting with real live missionaries.
Sample email from a Sunday School class
Hello Mr. & Mrs. Chilton, We are the preschool Sunday School class at Chapel of the Lake and we wanted to let you know we prayed for you today. We have been learning about missionaries. Our teacher, Mr. Nathan, told us about you and showed us where you serve on a map. Thank you for showing the love of Jesus to others by being a missionary with AWANA! We want to get to know you better and pray for you more so our teacher asked if we had any questions about you. Here are some of our questions.
1. What is your favorite food?
2. What’s your favorite animal?
3. What games do you like to play?
4. How can we pray for you?
We understand you may not be able to respond to our questions, but we want to let you know we have been learning about you and praying for you. Thank you for telling people about Jesus.
Love, Mr. Nathan and The Preschoolers at Chapel of the Lake
Sample email from a Family
Hello Randy & Kari, We are the Hamilton family. We heard about your ministry at our church, Chapel of the Lake, and we have been praying for you. Thank you for helping others learn about the love and joy of Jesus by being missionaries! We want our whole family to be involved in missions by praying for you and encouraging you in your ministry so we decided to send you an email. We have attached a picture of ourselves to this email so you can see what we look like. We asked our kids if there was anything they wanted to personally say to you in this email and here is what they said.
1. Zachary (10) says he is praying for you and wants to know if there are any interesting foods or animals where you live.
2. Hosanna (4) wants to tell you she likes to catch toads in our yard.
3. Jubilee (almost 3) wants to tell you we have a pet fish named Popsicle and a pet snake named Jupiter. The snake has orange spots. Do you have any pets?
4. Gloria (the baby) doesn’t have any questions for you, but after a bit of practice she has learned to say your name when we show her your picture.
If you have time to respond to their questions I’m sure they’d love to hear from you. But I totally understand if you’re not able to respond right now. We just want to let you know we love you and we’re praying for you. Thanks for serving!
Your Friends, The Hamilton Family