making missions possible for our missionaries
Sheltering Wings partners with missionaries to make their mission possible. If you are curious about what becoming a missionary with Sheltering Wings looks like, please continue reading!
We have all heard the phrase “It takes a village” usually this is referencing raising a child. It could also be used in the sense of “raising” a missionary. There are many challenging parts of becoming a missionary and so many questions along the way. Then once they enter the field there is a completely new set of issues and struggles that we help them work through. Then if/when the day comes that they leave the field we also help them through that season of transition also.
Our goal is to see missionaries thriving while serving wherever God calls them. To that end, we partner with missionaries and their sending churches in the following four categories:
1. Missionary Foundation:
preparing to go
-Assisting in defining a clear mission statement
-Providing accountability through an established application and training process
-Assisting in forming a workable budget
-Providing accountability through an established non-profit organization
-Providing direction and guidelines through policies
-Providing direction and guidelines through country specific handbooks
-Assisting new missionaries form a solid working relationship with their sending church
-Assisting in producing fundraising materials
-Providing banners and displays for use in fundraising
-Assisting in producing a fundraising strategy
-Assisting in making sure a comprehensive missionary care plan is in place
-Preparing an online donation page on the SW website for missionaries
-Coordinating missionary team training
2. On the Field
-Handling all financial transactions between donors and missionaries
-Providing continued accountability to the mission statement
-Taking the lead on resolving any crisis in which the missionary(ies) may become involved
-Overseeing and consulting on security related issues
-Ongoing missionary care support through pastoral care, missionary conferences, maintaining good relationships with sending churches, being part of a family of missionaries
-Providing in-country NGO status when beneficial
3. Stateside Support
-Assisting in supportive ministries which need stateside coordination (example: child sponsorship program)
-Handling donor communications
-Assisting in continued fundraising through quarterly newsletters and special email campaigns
-Providing all necessary tax-deductible year-end statements
4. Furloughs and Exiting the Field
-Coordinating debriefing and counseling resources
Financial Support for Missionaries
Before you can go to the field, you will have to go through a season of fundraising.
You will first need to raise a lump sum of startup money, to pay for your new home, new furniture & possibly a new vehicle. These one time gifts are sometimes easier to raise because these donors don’t have a commitment to make.
Then, you will need to find your reoccurring donors these are committed people who are passionate about the work you’re going to do. These people will be key to furthering your goals and securing your opportunity to fulfill them. We love the idea of “friendraising” in this season, being cautious not to see people as dollar signs but as friends taking up your mission together. There are many books that can help you do this well including Friend Raising by Betty Barnett.
A quote from Friend Raising by Betty Barnett
“Friend Raising brings together God's plan for missions support with principles proven in the field. The book focuses on the practical pillars of lasting support raising: intimacy in relationships, interdependence, mutual love and sharing, bearing one another's burdens, generosity, communication, and prayer with promises. In a world swamped by fund-raising hype and gimmicks, Betty Barnett presents a refreshing biblical alternative based on relationship.”
what we do to support missionaries
At Sheltering Wings, we love our missionaries. Our whole organization is based around supporting the missionaries and making their work possible. When you are a missionary overseas, you shouldn’t have to worry about checks being cashed for your support, or how to send your next transfer. That’s where we come in to do the daily busywork so that you can focus on fulfilling your mission and serving in your ministry. We are passionate about taking the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed to the world, and we want to do all we can to make that simpler for the brave missionaries in the field.
Several of our missionaries also have projects that require a lot of help from the Sheltering Wings headquarters such as Child Sponsorship. Child Sponsorship is an amazing program that keeps children in need within their family unit while also providing them with schooling, food, access to medical care and a chance to hear the gospel. This is a project primarily run by the missionaries and the local workers, but also requires someone in the states to keep in contact with the sponsors of these children. Sending updates and mailing sponsorship packets and helping donors manage their donations are some of the things that would be very hard for a missionary to do from the field! We are happy to work with our missionaries to make their projects successful.
Missionary Sending Agency
let us be your
As you read through the above information you probably got a big picture idea of what becoming a missionary looks like and takes. We have gone through these transitions with 50+ people over the many years we have been serving missionaries. Each time is different because no two people or journeys is the same. We know there can be extreme highs and lows through this journey. So we are here to support you through trial and error to find what works best for you and your mission. Fortunately, if you use Sheltering Wings as your sending agency, you never have to go it alone. We have staff that have walked this path, plus a whole family of missionaries you are adopted into, to support each other from a sympathetic perspective.
This is a testimony from one of our missionaries, to give you an understanding of why a sending agency is so crucial to your journey as a missionary!
“There’s a lot that we do in our ministries and I can say that we would not be able to do what we do or grow our ministries without support. That can come from prayer support back home, donations and those type of things but the most crucial support we have is through our home office at Sheltering Wings. If they were not there to handle all of the different monies, donations to programs, organizing all the sponsorship needs, organizing gifts, getting the proper funds to the right place every month. Without that, I don’t think that we could be able to continue to grow the way that we have, there would just be too much on our plates. I would say that Sheltering Wings also doesn’t just help us with the financial things or that type of support. They also are someone to call and talk to, or get some advice from, ask for prayer and all those things. They are not just an organization they really have become our family.
I’m really excited about the future of Sheltering wings, I’m glad to have seen all the new missionaries who have come over the last few years, we are reaching so many parts of the world right now. I always look forward to our time as a team of missionaries to get together and share, encourage, and pray for each other.
I can say that for many many years to come Sheltering Wings will be working throughout the world to bring the hope that comes from knowing Jesus Christ.”
Serving in West Africa for 10+ years
The Sheltering Wings office is so passionate about the work our missionaries do each day. If you are interested in becoming a missionary or just learning more about the journey, please contact our Mission’s Coordinator and missionary himself, Phillip Matheny.