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How to: Mission Trip Support Letters

Support letters are one of the most effective ways to raise support for your mission experience. A well-written, honest support letter is second only to an in-person face to face meeting with someone. People want to support worthy causes, but many have a hard time choosing what to support. As God’s people, we all have a calling to further His kingdom—to bring more people into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. At different times, we are called to go, to encourage, and to send others. Each of us has a part! “How shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” (Romans 10:14-15). Allow your community and loved ones to send you. 

Getting started right means compiling a large mailing list. Think of around 65 to 85 potential partners. Don’t just write to people you think will support you, or just to Christians, but to everyone you know! Mail your support letter to: your family (close and distant), friends (and their parents), people at work, your church mission committee, church leaders, neighbors, parents’ friends, teachers and coaches, the church where you grew up, business leaders, your doctor/dentist, churches in your area, and civic clubs. In every season, there are those who are called to “go” and those who are called to “send.” If you don’t tell them about your mission, they can’t fulfill their part in being a “sender!” Team members are often surprised by who responds.

As you write your letter, keep it short and simple. Remember to speak positively about the location you are going to serve, we do not want to demean those whom we are going to serve.  Include the mission trip dates, cost, goals, and ministries. Be honest and direct, asking them to pray and to give financially. Set a deadline for needed funds, and instruct them to write checks to the church so that it will be tax deductible, but with your name and the mission in the memo. Include a self-addressed return envelope. Print and mail your letters.

Pray for God’s favor and will. Send thank you notes right away to contributors, and keep track of the funds raised. Answer any questions they have. Before you leave, remind prayer partners to pray every day of your trip. After your mission trip is over, make sure to send a report letter to contributors and prayer partners about what God did in your midst with another thank you (include photos and your trip journal link).

When your supporters hear about all that you experienced, they can take some ownership in that ministry! They can be encouraged as a result of their own willingness to partner with you in what God is doing. Proverbs 11:25 says, “He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” If your team comes up with a great fundraising idea, please let us know and we will add it to next year’s Praying Pelican Missions Group Leader Manual to share with other groups!

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