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9 Ways to Support a Single Mission Worker in Your Life

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By Danielle Opel

Danielle served as a missionary intern in Thailand for two years. She currently lives in Columbus, Ohio and is making plans to return to Bangkok. Here she offers a few suggestions for ways to build up single mission workers. Her advice for singles: “Singleness is really a gift if you choose to let it be. Grow. Be happy.”

As a worker in Thailand in my early twenties, I struggled with being single. Loneliness and insecurity were constant companions. I struggled with the feelings of low self-worth. I happily congratulated friends who had found their special someone, all the time wondering when it would be my turn. Being overseas made me feel like my chances of meeting someone were next to impossible. My Thai friends were always making comments about how I would be so much happier if I had a boyfriend. While these feelings are not all unique to single workers, I think some single workers share similar feelings. Following are some ways you as supporters can show you are behind them and truly care!

1

E-mail or write often. Show them you care. One of the hardest things for a single is facing loneliness. I remember wanting someone who cared and was really interested in me and my life. Be intentional in asking about their lives, interests, and friends (who, what, when, where, why, and how).

2

Set up Skype times. Be the one to take the initiative to set the times. This is a great way to catch up if you don’t enjoy writing and can be super encouraging to the single.

3

Consider sending care packages. These can be filled with needed things and/or fun things. Chocolate, candy, comfort food, or a magazine are always appreciated. I remember one person sent me real autumn leaves dipped in wax so they would last. That meant the world to me.

4

Encourage singles in their singleness. Help them to embrace this time in their lives or, for some, a long-term call to singleness. (But please don’t preach the verses about being single in 1 Corinthians; that was quoted many times to encourage me but it only pulled me down). Instead encourage us with the hope we have in our future because of Jesus Christ. Help us to focus on what we do have rather than what we don’t.

5

Jesus is not my boyfriend! He is my master and commander, and I will follow him where he leads. But God created woman for man. I struggled with a lot of guilt for wanting a “real” boyfriend. Hey, it is only natural. Encourage us that while we wait for that special one, to continue to seek after God.

5

Pray for the single. Pray for their daily life, relationship needs, and spiritual health. Pray also for the future. Pray for God’s good and complete timing. And also pray for discernment and acceptance for the single as they walk the path of life.

7

Don’t play match maker. It is fine to introduce people to each other, but let God work things out from there. Don’t try to force it.

8

Avoid asking probing questions about pictures posted via social media that include the opposite sex. Most times pictures are taken with friends. Chances are, if there is something going on you will know it!

9

Avoid setting time tables. For example, “By the time I was your age I was married and had three kids.” Instead say, “Wow, it is so great that you are doing all these things at such a young age.” Thankfully God has brought me to a point right now where I feel peace in my singleness. Yes, I still feel lonely and struggle sometimes. I still want to have a partner. But I am also grateful for this time and the freedom I feel. I know myself a lot better and have grown in self-confidence. I no longer hold daily pity parties for what I don’t have, but rather continually celebrate the growth and blessings I do have. Hi, my name is Danielle. I am single, blessed, and highly favored!