You know, when I sit down to write a blog, I usually try and share some type of truth with people that has been revealed to me in the Scriptures and experienced out in real life situations. While this blog entry may or may not also include both of those attributes in it, it is not being written from a place of such motivation. I am actually just going to share some of the human burdens I have been feeling lately as a man of God trying to raise support as a full-time missionary and trying to get an organization that has a vision to impact two continents off the ground beyond the place where it sits currently. I wish that I had something more to share with you all this time around but as I sit here staring at my computer screen, this is what is on my heart and mind today. I hope at the least, if you are reading this, that you will at the least finish it and lift me up in prayer…it is very much needed.
The first thing I would like to share with you all is how things are going for me from a financial standpoint…from a support raising standpoint. While this may not sound like a big deal to do, for those of us of the male persuasion (and maybe the female persuasion too, but that is not possible for me to know) there is always the fear of this sort of thing being perceived as complaining, taken the wrong way or what have you, that so often times we shy away from things like this. And as I type these very words, that is in the back of my mind, even though I know that is more about human pride and ego than anything else.
So I am in process of raising a full-time missions salary to reach, teach and send 18-35 year olds with the Gospel of Jesus here in New England and in Europe. It has been a bumpy road for me trying to raise support. Some people have committed to becoming monthly partners and have been faithful, and to that I am grateful beyond these words. Others have committed to being monthly partners and have not honored their commitment even one month…as a missionary trusting on that support…that is disheartening. Then there are those beautiful people who send gifts as they feel lead, which are always a blessing, often unexpected, and tend to come during times of need. These gifts always give me boosts financially, encourage me in the faith and to keep pressing on in the work, but unfortunately they cannot be something that I include in my monthly budget. I have asked just about everyone I know at some point if they would either allow me to come and share the long-term vision with them and my needs as a missionary in their homes or at their churches and still am not fully-funded. When I think about whom else to ask I am at a loss for an answer. This sort of thing can often cause one to give up, get discouraged, or even question the call…especially when you look forward and only see the needs increasing not decreasing to make the vision grow to fruition. I have had moments where I have experienced all three…but then I hear that small still voice telling me to press on, to trust in His provision, and be joyful in the trial. Those are the times when obedience becomes most challenging for me. As a man, my natural instinct is to just go out there and take care of it “on my own”, not trust that the Lord will provide more partners, more people to grab hold of the vision, and ultimately see the call of the Lord on my life.
With that reality already in place, the next one just kind of just adds to the overall realities, I find myself dealing with. The overall reality that I am sure other missionaries and missions organizations face, and that is, trying to fulfill full-time vision on a part-time salary with less than part-time team. I love, with all my heart, the people God has put into my life to disciple, grow, and do ministry together with as a team, but it has been a year of trials and change to say the least. The whole dynamic of our team has changed dramatically this year on so many levels and will change even more in the months ahead. While to many of them, they probably think that none of that has any effect on me because of my personality, passion and, often expressed, intensity the truth is, is that it does. The less effective the teamwork the less effective the vision or dream works. While I cannot get into specifics as to some of the changes and trials we have faced as a team here, as that would dishonor some of them, it again is another trial in the life of me as a missionary; another trial that could bring discouragement and doubt. Yet the Lord would have me press on…trusting in Him. Easier said (or written about) than done.
I live every day of my life with the burden of the ministry the Lord has given me to do. I live every day with thinking about things just like the things expressed in this blog and even more. On average I am putting in 12-15 hour days trying to be faithful to His call on my life. That is not a complaint in any way, but just a reality. And while it is not normally my style to share such a personal detail with the world of the internet I just did. I did so because I know, we as Christians, are not to go through the journey alone and that God gave us our mission as Body to be done together as a Body. In that truth I have hope.
Please remember me in your prayers if you could. They are needed…and needed in more ways than you could ever know. If any of you either feel lead to hear our vision or maybe know someone who might please let me know as I look out there now to see whom He would have me ask and see only you. I need your help. Maybe you might even be able to have a group of your friends over and allow me to share the vision with them… If you feel lead, help me be a voice to share this vision and reach, teach and send the least reached group of people in the western world, with the changing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you for reading all of this, and thank you for your prayers and support! Bless you!