As a North American Missionary, a part of the work is to raise support. Support from churches who want to see the Kingdom of God expanded. Support from individuals and family who choose to sacrificially give so that I can be on the mission field. In thinking about this, I was reading in Acts 11: http://www.esvbible.org/Acts+11/
Here, Peter has returned with word fresh from the mission field. He is seeing a people group engaged with the gospel for the first time and is giving a report to encourage and edify those from where he has been sent.
This gives me pause to how I look at partnerships. I have too-often thought about these as one-way partnerships where an established church supports a new work in financial terms and with prayer support and even by sending mission teams. Although this is true and vital, it is not complete.
As a Missionary, I get the privilege and opportunity to return word to supporters of the work that I get to be a part of…even better, get a front row seat to! I get to inspire and motivate senior adults that their giving and prayer support is as missional as my move. I get to tell pastoral staff that although they are unable to go out onto a mission field, that by leading their church to support our work they are doing just that. I get to see students eyes brighten as they dream of the reality that God could be calling them to a work that they didn’t think possible before they heard the update from the mission field where I serve.
As a Missionary, I get to go back home (or send word) and share the gospel results of the harvest that our partners so faithfully sow seed into. It is a big deal. As Peter’s group heard his report and said ‘Then to the gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life’, so my partners (and yours) get to say: 'Then to the (fill in the blank with your people group) God has granted repentance that leads to life’.