Can I serve international missions and still live full-time in my home country?

“Reach the world on your doorstep, support mission workers, go short-term, and pray.”

God has brought the internationals of the world to the door step of the developed world. To serve an international student in your area, contact a Christian ministry at a university near you.

Another way to serve at home is to learn about missionaries from your church who serve internationally. Get to know them, what they do, and how you can support them financially, spiritually, and practically.

There are always options to go on a short-term mission trip overseas during your vacation. And most important, pray for the world. Find a group that meets to pray for a people group or an area of the world.

Answer from Karin, who serves in Germany with Youth With A Mission.

“Work at an international office in your home country.”

Many mission agencies have offices in your home country. Those of us working in the home office serve as a lifeline of support for missionaries overseas. You can serve in personnel, recruiting, fund raising, finance, payroll, computers/IT, publicity, marketing, or a dozen other areas.

In many cases you will need to raise your support, just as someone serving in another country does (but hey, that’s fair to those overseas). An army has to have its supply lines, and so does God’s army of missionaries. Check with the home office of the agencies you might want to serve with to see what positions they need to fill.

Answer from Rob who served ten years with Operation Mobilization from the home office.

“Take up collections at your church.”

If members of the body fail to do their part back home, then the rest have to struggle on the foreign mission field. One way to serve in your home country is to inform churches of the missions work going on in your areas of interest. Prayer is always needed!

Contact known missionaries and ask what you can do to help. You’ll be surprised at what you can do. Our missions organization is assisted by several denominations in various regions that collect clothing, baby formula, and other items that we distribute in Central America from trailers that arrive twice a year.

The most effective way to know what God has is to seek Him earnestly in prayer and ask what He would like you to accomplish for mission in your home country.

Answer from Marty who has served for five years in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua with Shekinah International Missions.

“Ease of travel and communication have multiplied the numbers of people who serve from home.”

These days more and more of us are able to do our jobs from home, a coffee shop, or on the road. The same is true in the mission world. The ease of travel and communication have increased the number of non-resident missionaries quite a bit in recent years.

A Bible translator can live in North America but travel to Asia as their projects require. A church can maintain close contact with a sister ministry, visiting or being visited by them every year or so.

Many involved in leadership development and training spend most of their time in their home country but make regular trips to visit the people they are serving and connecting with them over the Internet between visits. 

You have to ask yourself, though: am I willing to go wherever God would send me? Is my choice to live in my home country what is best for the kind of ministry to which God is calling me? 

While some serve solely in a virtual context (e.g., through internet evangelism and discipleship), in most cases spending regular time face-to-face is essential.

Answer from Marti, who has served in missions for 20 years, currently with Pioneers.

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