Earlier this week we sent out the bulk of our support letters. This turned out to be way more emotional than we would have expected. Amy and I worked on this together, but she was the one to drop more than sixty letters in the Post Office mailbox.
When I got home from work she told me that when she dropped them in the mailbox a flood of tears started falling. I asked why and she said there were just so many emotions associated with those letters. A change of life, bearing our soul (vulnerability), joy, etc...
We just stood there and held each other for a while as we processed through some of it praising our Father in heaven for getting us this far and asking Him to provide for what we know He has called us to do. It is difficult in some ways to ask others to support us financially. In some ways it is a great privilege to partner with other people in the great task of international Kingdom work.
Some people don't get it, and I can understand this concern. We have been asked by several people if I could just continue my full time job and work remotely instead of asking other people for money. My reply to this is ,”Yes – it might be possible, but how effective in the ministry do you think I would be?”
I have actually been down this road before. We were part of the house church movement for a while and I maintained a full time job while attempting to plant churches. God taught me a great deal during this period of time and a lot about catastrophic failure. I realized that I was trying to do it on my own and not solely for the Glory of God.
Part of the awesomeness of relying on the financial support of the larger body of Christ is this – God gets all the glory and the church is edified. It isn't a singular effort carried out by one man John Wayne style. I have had to grow to this understanding, but my God has been gracious to teach me.
I know there are people who hold a full time job in order to support their ministry, and God works through these individuals and blesses them. I know that Paul said he had given up the right to be paid for preaching and held a job making tents for a period of time. So I am not saying it is wrong to provide for ministry this way.
What I am saying is that I have learned some hard lessons and realize that for this time in my life and for this type of work I am overjoyed to be able to ask others to partner with us financially and prayerfully. This is a church (universal) effort. It is wonderful to be able to have this type of support and accountability. I believe wholeheartedly in what we are getting into and would encourage everyone I know to give financially, prayerfully, and of their time to this ministry even if we were not going to partner with the Hands and Feet Project as full time missionaries.
One of the things I am most excited about is getting to travel and tell others what God is doing and continue this throughout our partnership with the Hands and Feet project. We are considering this our calling indefinitely. The children at Grand Goave need a long term stable source of Christ-like encouragement for their lives. That is what we desire to be. Christ bled and died to save me and he has given me a love in my heart for people – especially the fatherless and the widows.
Thank you for everyone who gave to us the first time we went, and thank you to everyone who plans to give to us now. Every penny is appreciated. May His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!
Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen