Estimates say that over 5000 indigenous mission boards overseas have more than 200,000 native missionaries on the field, but thousands of them have no regular support. These missionaries are planting churches among unreached people groups, isolated tribes, and linguistic “nations” that are unreached.
Who are these missionaries?
They are mostly citizens of the country where they are working or in some cases they may be from a neighbouring land across the border.
How are they trained?
The most effective missionaries today are discipled in their local church assemblies, on gospel witness teams, or attending Bible institutes in their own country.
Are the missionaries accountable?
Definitely. Intercede International has carefully researched and interviewed the leaders of the mission boards we assist. All must demonstrate that they are faithful stewards. These missions maintain full accountability for the missionaries, both financially and spiritually.
How much support is needed?
The amount needed to support each missionary varies according to country, location, and family status. For example, living costs are higher in Russia than in Mexico; Mexico is higher than Nigeria. Workers in larger cities need more support than those in rural villages; married men need more than single workers. So while $50 per month is barely adequate in a few areas, $100 or even $200 is needed in other places. Average support worldwide is about $100. If one sponsor cannot send enough for a particular missionary, a co-sponsor will be assigned. All quoted sponsorship amounts include ministry sponsorship costs.
How can native missionaries live on so much less than Canadians?
There are many factors, but all are linked to their lower standard of living. Having grown up in poverty, they are already accustomed to living on the same level as the impoverished people they are reaching.
Why aren’t native missionaries supported by their own churches?
Thousands of them are. Most believers in poorer countries give more sacrificially than many Christians in Canada. But millions are sharecroppers who live on a barter system and see little cash money. And because there is no government welfare, their churches must support the destitute. Many missionaries serve in pioneer areas where as yet no churches exist to provide local support.