You might be surprised by what home missionary families say about being...
On the Road Again
by Richard Atwood
“On the Road Again” could be the theme song for home missionaries out raising support. Dad and Mom load up the kids and head out to find partners for their ministry. It’s a lot of traveling, meeting new people, packing and unpacking, and saying the same things week after week.
That’s why I have been surprised that I have never met a home missionary who didn’t have an overall pleasant experience on itinerate. They all say the same thing, “I’m ready to get to the field, but itinerate was a good experience.” I asked some of the missionaries who just finished raising support to tell me some of the things they liked about the experience. The following are some of their comments:
“Our itinerate will always be a fond memory for us. I loved the way most churches made our kids feel special. It was so interesting to meet people all across the U.S. and enjoy their differences. Seeing the U.S. was a huge bonus, and we enjoyed being on the road together. Of course, I couldn’t possibly leave out all of the great food we enjoyed from so many different regions. Folks fed us like royalty!”
—Donnie Burke, Castle Rock, CO
“One thing I appreciated was when the pastor of
the church would show the congregation his filled out Faith Promise card. This encouraged the people to also support the missionary. I enjoyed being at a church when they had potluck afterwards. I liked the food! I also liked it when people asked questions, and I had time to get to know them.”
—Jim Kilgore, Greenfield, CA
We liked it when:
-People were warm and friendly. It made us feel at home.
-Folks helped take care of our children while we set up.
-Churches took up an offering for our work.
-They gave us McDonald’s gift cards.
-Gift baskets were given to our wives.
-Churches put us in their budget.
-The pastor would support us verbally.
-The church fed us and provided a place to rest on Sunday afternoon .
-The church provided a motel where they would be willing to stay.
-The church covered the expenses for transportation, meals, and lodging.
—Jeff Goodman and Josh Bennett, Marana, Arizona
“We went to one church that had scheduled a Pastor Appreciation Day. He scheduled us not knowing about the church’s plans. Even though it was a special day for the pastor, the church made up a basket of food and other items and presented it to us. They said they wanted us to know how much they appreciated our willingness to go. It was encouraging when a pastor would say he would call you back, and he did. It was encouraging to arrive at a church and be treated as though they wanted us there.”
—Barry Long, Denver, CO
Thank you for your support and encouragement to all our church planters. I, too, have met salt of the earth followers of Jesus all over this country. One last quote from Barry Long, “Itinerate has been a long journey for us, but we met some great people that I know are praying for us.”
About the Writer: Richard Atwood is director of missionary assistance for Free Will Baptist Home Missions. To learn more about Home Missionaries and the fields where they are planting churches, visit www.homemissions.net.