Sunday, June 16, 2013

Giving to Missionaries

Many times we have the conversations with people on the topic of, "what can I do to help the global missions movement?"  This conversation came up often last year when we were visiting America or when we have visiting teams or our own personal visitors, and even over email.  People want to know how they can be a part of God's work outside of the walls of the States.

We most often respond with, "well if you don't want to or feel you can't move overseas then you need to give."  From our point of view there seems to be this desire to 'volunteer your time' or 'give back' but not for longer than a few days, weeks, or maybe months.  Well in reality you need longer than 3 months to build relationships and really be a part of the ministry.  So if moving overseas isn't your thing, then we would say give, and give generously, and give with a full and thankful heart.

There are statistics out there that only 10% of the church's tithing goes to global missions, and out of that 6% goes to Africa, so that leaves all of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Central and South America fighting for the remaining 4% of the givings that come out of America. That's tough.

The other shocking number is that the average missionary spends 20-25% of their time trying to raise enough money so that they don't have to leave the country just because they couldn't pay their bills. And then they go and spend 100% of their time in their ministry. That's tough.

So if you are wondering how you can be a part of global missions, or you desire to see Christ known throughout the world we would say there are two options.

Go! Move! Become a missionary. It is a rich and rewarding life.  It is full of adventure, stress, joy, pain, humor, and sorrow.  We would leap for joy at the thought of more people going into the field when they feel called to do so.


Give! Give to a long-term missionary who is living in the "real deal, everyday, time and life consuming commitment of being overseas."  Allow them to escape and pay for their vacation out of their host country, pay for their aircon for a year without question, buy them a plane ticket home so they can see their family, pay for their gas in their car, or better yet help them buy a car when they can't on their current support.

I read this quote the other day on another missions blog, and found it extremely true. "But the truth is most mission fields are like wild fires, burning out of control and consuming everything in their path.  We come in with a passion in our hearts for the lost, but instead often our entire lives are consumed in the flames."  Now this quote is from one missionary speaking to a group of others living overseas to encourage them in how they feel in their ministries, but it helps give an idea of how a lot of missionaries feel.  It might just help you better understand your friend, family, or co-worker that is serving as a missionary.

As we have said to many of you, we couldn't thank you enough for allowing us to live in Cambodia as long as we felt called to be here.  We thank you for allowing us to stay there, and we thank you for partnering with us in our time in Cambodia.

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