Are you ready? You sure?
Lean in a little...
It's prayer cards.
Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but there is some truth to it. Missionaries are called to be a lot of things to a lot of people. We stand daily (hourly!) on the promise that God will equip us for every good work (2 Tim. 3:17), 'cause there's always a lot of work to be done. We pray, worship, preach, teach, cry, build, encourage, disciple, clean, fix, create... Oh, and then there's also the PR side of this "job." Newsletters. Flyers. Blogs. Emails. Fundraisers. Communication of all sorts. Honestly, that is one of the most time consuming and challenging parts of the work we do. At least I've done all those things before, but but this is my first go around with prayer cards.
Prayer cards are those glossy, pretty cards that missionaries hand out like candies when they're on furlough so people can put them up on their refrigerators and remember to pray for their friends in the field. All the ones I've ever seen are stunning and clever and crisp and lovely and even seem to smell faintly of exotic locales. (Can you sense the envy?) In theory, I love this idea for our ministry. There's something very appealing about knowing people are seeing us and thinking about us and praying for us every morning when they get milk for their cereal or are indulging in a midnight snack. The problem is, I'm not sure we're cute enough for a prayer card.
Don't get me wrong - I don't mean our looks. Granted, we don't have grinning toddlers or wide-eyed babies anymore, which automatically raise the cute factor of any picture. Still, I like to think we're a pretty darn cute family anyway, if I do say so myself. No, the kind of cute I'm talking about is the coordinated sweaters, adorable fonts, burlap and lace, Pinterest pro, essential oils type of cute.
I know you know what I mean.
That's just not me.
So, I'm trying to put together a prayer card, 'cause I believe in them and I want to be on people's fridges and I'm getting ready to go on furlough and the clock is ticking! But, we don't have services down here that do cute stuff like that, so it's all on me. How do you make a good prayer card? Well, it has to start with good pictures. Unfortunately, professional photography is not widely available, and not in our budget, so all pics for this project are selfies or photos taken on the run on my cheap cell phone camera. Hmmm... So far I've pulled a blurry pic of a volcano for our backdrop and a smattering of closeups of our more-or-less in-focus faces. <sigh> This is where I start thinking I should be doing a better job of documenting and photographing our life instead of just focusing on, you know, living it.
So, despite the fact that I have neither essential oils nor an avid and sizeable Pinterest following, I'm going to finish these darn cards. Whether they will be stunning and clever and crisp and lovely, I don't yet know. (I will spare recipients the smell of Guatemala, though, since it is more pungent than exotic, to be perfectly frank.) They might not be super cute, but they will be from the heart, filled with love, and hopefully appearing soon on refrigerators all over as a reminder that we're here and we do so appreciate your prayers and support.