Thursday, June 27, 2013

When are you leaving?

As I've been talking with churches and individuals "when are you leaving?" is a question on everyone's mind.  Including mine.  It's a hard question for me to answer because the fact of the matter is my leaving is completely contingent up on the generosity of others.  Responding to the question of my leaving with "Depends on how much you give?" seems a little less than gracious.  However it is the truth. 

Support raising is not fun for me.  It's costly to me in a lot of ways.  It would never be my choice.  But there is a reason I'm doing it... Mainly, to get a team of people behind me, invested in me and my ministry. 

A wise friend of mine shared the following on her blog a while back.  It's served as a good reminder to me lately as to why I'm doing what I am right now... 

If you are a Christian then you are part of the great commission.  Matthew 28:19 says:  ”Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Although going overseas may not be possible for you or what you are called to do, you can still be a part of this by reaching out in your own community and also by sending those who are called to physically go.
Matthew 6:21: ”For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  It is a  fact that people are more invested if their money is involved.  Investing financially in Kingdom work gives you more incentive to pray, keep in touch and be involved.  Supporting those going overseas gives you the opportunity to send a little bit of yourself and receive much in return!
1 Corinthians 16:1, 2: ”Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.”  Paul was supported by the early church and he even set out guidelines for how this could be done.
Deuteronomy 16:17: “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.”  This is a scripture pertaining to the Feast of the Tabernacles in which the Jews were commanded to celebrate and give back because they were blessed.  Financially supporting missions is a way for us to celebrate and give according to the blessing that we have received.
In Philippians 4:10 Paul writes “I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.”  This is the desire, not just that the church and individuals would show concern for a person or ministry but that they would have the opportunity to show that concern be it through sacrificial prayer or financial giving.

You can check out more of Joy's brilliant thoughts at her blog 

But guess what... We're at 18% of my monthly financial need being pledged!  This means that I only need 78 more partners who can give $100 a month.  Or 156 who can give $50.  Would you pray about what role you might play in meeting this need for me?  As God leads you to give you can do so by sending in a pledge card, contacting me or anyone at MTW or online here

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Leap of faith

Two weeks ago today I left Wichita for a week long training in North Carolina, followed by three weeks of support raising.  Then on July 1st on to New York City for a month long cross cultural training.  As I drove away from Wichita I felt like I was stepping off a cliff. 

I cried for most of the first three hours of my twelve hour drive.  The only thought that made me feel less like I was about to fall to my death was that I could always just do my week in NC and go home.  There was nothing that said I had to be on the road support raising.  No one was making me go to NY.  If after the week in NC I was still feeling like I was falling I decided I'd just go back to Wichita, regroup and try again later.

The conference I was attending in NC is called Living In Grace... That should have been an indicator that maybe this week was going to be encouraging.  Living In Grace is required for all MTW missionaries and employees.  In addition to myself 20 other missionaries there and we were lead by six former missionaries.  The first night we broke into small groups and were asked to share what we had hoped to gain from the week.  I said peace with the path I'm currently on.

Well, prayers answered.

Spending a week with people in the same boat as me was so encouraging.  There were many opportunities to deepen existing relationships and make new relationships with people who I know will be a part of my life forever.  Our fellowship was more than sweet.

The teaching was direct and hit right where I needed it.  There are many things I'm still mulling over and will probably continue to mull on for quite some time.

I didn't fall.  I was reminded of the path that was under my feet all along.  God has called me to reach artists in Fremantle.  He's not going to let me fall.

After a week literally secluded on a mountain, we're talking no cell service and little internet, with a renewed confidence in my calling I hit the support raising trail in Georgia.  I felt completely at peace.  And while I still long to see my financial support coming in, I wasn't consumed with worry over that.  Which, if you've been following my journey, you know was not the case just a few weeks ago.

Then an amazing thing happened... 5% of my monthly support was pledged.  IN TWO WEEKS!  After months of no new support.  And not because I'm a great support raiser, because God is faithful and His people generous.

Some days I still feel a little like Indy walking across that chasm.  The path isn't always easy to see.  It is almost always scarey.  But it is always there.  So I keep walking.