My family and I spent nearly sixteen years as missionaries to the country of Ghana, W Africa. I can still remember the first time (1994) I heard about this new thing called "email." I heard you could could send and receive letters electronically. What a great idea. I would scour the capital city of Accra looking for anyone who knew how do this thing called email, never to find them. In 1989 on my first trip to Ghana I would have to wait in line at the post office for hours upon end waiting to see if they were able to get a phone line open to America. I could wait as many as three days before I could call my wife back home. I once received a box of cheese and sausage that was sent as a Christmas present. It arrived sixteen months after it was sent. I found out it had been sitting in the corner of some rat infested office somewhere. Obviously we had to throw it away. Things are better now for missionaries than we had it. Things were better for us than they were for thousands of missionaries before us. Times are changing. Technology is changing. Communication is getting so much better worldwide.
My wife has a ministry of hand making cards. They really are a piece of art when she is finished. All of our missionary families, each one in the family (60+ cards total), receive a hand made card from our church for their birthday. Each married couple also receive an anniversary card. My wife personally makes a card for each member of our church (80+ total). The ladies of the church get together to make the cards for the missionaries. Today a group of our church ladies got together and had a brunch then spent several hours snipping and glueing and making cards. There are ways to send cards electronically over the internet. We certainly could do it much quicker and easier that way, but with each hand made card a prayer is offered up for the blessing and watchcare of God upon the recipient. Our ladies really do care for the missionaries we support and we want them to know that.
Many missionaries feel isolated. With all the technology available that should never be the case. FaceTime, Skype, chat rooms, Vonage, smart phones, texting. All this technology makes it so simple to keep in touch with friends and family living abroad. Having lived in isolation I know what it means to get connected to home. Is there someone you can bless today by simply connecting with them to say "hello" or "I was just thinking about you"? You don't have to make a hand made card or send a gift box. Just use the technology available and make an effort to bless someone.
"As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." - Proverbs 25:25