13 Challenges Foreign Missionaries Face

We send them to every part of the world. We support them financially. We pray for them from time to time. But do we know what challenges they face?

Sometimes I think that we view missionaries as different than we are. Maybe more spiritual or gifted differently. I don’t think they are any different than you or me.

The one thing that I notice is different between someone who goes to a foreign mission field and someone who doesn’t is…Availability. It’s not just availability. It is a willing and submitted heart.

It is important for us who are senders to understand the best we can what the challenges are that our missionaries face so we can effectively pray for and support them.

As I have said before…We all are a part of this mission.

I reached out to a few of my missionary friends and asked them about the challenges they face. Everyone shared with great vulnerability. They want you to understand enough so you can interceded powerfully for them.

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Are You Available? An Interview with Fred and Dianne Doell [Podcast Episode 010]

You ever know someone that every time you are around them you leave feeling better? That is how I feel about Fred and Dianne Doell. Whether it was when we lived in Thailand, were back on a visit, in an email, or like the privilege I had here to talk to them on Skype, I always feel encouraged. They always see your potential, and they call it out in a positive and uplifting way.

Danielle and I met Fred and Dianne in 2006 when we went to Pattaya, Thailand on a 10 day mission trip. One of those days was spent at Mercy Center, a children shelter, run by Fred and Dianne.

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Why Would A Young Married Couple Move to Japan? [Podcast Episode 002]

Missionary Interview: Caleb and Jessica Camp

While most couples this age pursue the “American Dream”, this couple in their 20s married for only a few years decided to move to Japan—to serve as missionaries.


I begin this new series of audio podcasts with a couple very close to me. Caleb is my brother’s son. He and Jessica, or Jess as we call her, have been married for a few years. They moved to Japan in the Spring of 2016 to serve alongside a couple who have worked there for over a decade.

In this interview you will learn:

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5 Mistakes We Make When We “Help” The Poor

You volunteer along with many others to help make some repairs at a family’s home one Saturday. You end up sitting on the front porch listening to the mother’s story. She shares her stress over mounting medical bills that keeps her awake at night.


You decide to spend several hundred dollars to fly to the other side of the world to spend a week working with a mission organization. You get to know a few of the local people who work along the missionaries. At a meal, you sit by one local who shares with you their passion for the work they are doing among their own people. Within the conversation you learn that they need more financial support.

You have a compassionate heart. That is why you invest your time, money and energy into helping others. And their stories tug at your heart-strings. We look at our financial means, and we want to help. We “know” we can help out of our abundance.

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Why Pray for Muslims

What do you know about Islam? Is it mostly what you hear and read in the news? That’s kind of scary, because most of that is about ISIS and other terror groups. Or maybe you watch with intrigue or sadness about the droves of refugees fleeing parts of the Middle East.

Photo Credit: ybiberman via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: ybiberman via Compfight cc


Did you know that Muslims all around the world are in the middle of a 30 day fast right now? Over 1.5 billion Muslims are practicing one of the five pillars of their faith—Ramadan.

According to tradition, it was during Ramadan that the Qur’an was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. Muslims honor this event by fasting each day from sunrise to sunset.

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5 Ways We Can Go to the Nations without Leaving Our Community

Do We Really Have an Excuse for Not Taking the Gospel to the Nations?

Often we use excuses for not going to the nations as God’s Word commands us to do. The usual excuses are “not enough money” or “not enough time” or “my kids are too young/too old”.

Those excuses may have worked a generation or two ago here in America, but not any longer. Especially in urban communities where thousands of people from all over the world live, work, and go to school.

Simply, the world is becoming a smaller place.

Just at the University of Texas in Austin about 127 countries are represented. According to VisitHoustonTexas.com over 90 languages are spoken in the Houston area.

I am sure that these numbers reflect the community you live in as well. The question bow do you engage these people groups right at your doorstep?

Here are 5 ways we can go to the nations without leaving our community. I hope that you can add more ways or additional information about these 5:

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Is the American Dream Killing Our Passion for Missions?

5 Ways We Can Create Wealth and Still Have a Passion for Missions

Recently the president of the International Mission Board (IMB), David Platt, announced that his organization will soon cut 600-800 missionaries and staff. The IMB is the missionary sending organization for the Southern Baptists.

A study by The Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary a few years ago made some interesting calculations about not only the missionaries sent by the U.S. but by all countries around the world.

A couple of statistics caught my attention:

  • When the numbers are calculated by the number of missionaries sent per million church members these are the results
    • Palestine – 3014 per million church members followed by Ireland, Malta, and Samoa.
    • South Korea ranked 5th with 1014 missionaries sent per one million church members.
    • United States ranked 9th with 614 missionaries sent per one million church members.
  • The country that received the most missionaries in 2010? The United States, with 32,400 sent from other nations.
*taken from Christianity Today Article.

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An Interview with a Missionary – Dave Hanna serving in East Asia

Many People in the World Haven't Heard the Name of Jesus even Once

I met Dave Hanna in the beginning of 2006. My wife and I were part of a team of 10 that went to Pattaya, Thailand for Chinese New Year. The whole trip stretched me, including meeting Dave. He is tall, loud, and passionate. He definitely left an impression!

A little over one year later, Danielle and I were on a plane back to Pattaya, Thailand to serve with Dave and his team for six months.

As I mention in the video introduction, Dave might challenge you, make you laugh, maybe even cry. I encourage you to take time to watch or listen to this interview with Dave Hanna.


Here is how you can contact Dave Hanna. Currently he and Tan are in the United States (September 2015), so please don’t call the international number.

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6 Reasons Why You Probably Aren’t a Missionary

Many of you are thinking, “I don’t even want to be a missionary!” I have news for anyone who calls themselves a Christian. God considers each of us a missionary. He sent Himself to us. Now He is sending us to others.

What got me thinking about this is a lot of the news describing the lines of division between people groups. Not only in America, but around the world.

These lines are drawn along things like race, sexual orientation, “the haves and have nots’, religion, political leanings, what family you are from etc.

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Here Is A Great Way to Support Missionaries

When Danielle and I served in Thailand for six months as volunteer missionaries, we spent a lot of time around long-term missionaries from many sending agencies and parts of the world. We learned first hand about how very few missionaries on the field get consistent and sustained support from “back home”.

I’m not referring exclusively to financial support, but maybe even more importantly, prayer and emotional support.

I asked one missionary, who then had been on the field for over 20 years, who her home church was. Her reply, “Well, we have been on the field for so long that we have lost contact with our church back home.”

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