While working overseas in missions there were some months I hated to look at my bank account. Did we have enough money to make it through this month? Would we be able to cover our bills, make that trip, buy those clothes for our kids?
As a Missionary on donor support, keeping up a full salary is a challenge. And fundraising is a stress that knocks many missionaries off the field, prematurely, I might add. How are you doing in this area of funding your life and mission?
Over the years, I’ve experienced that Partnership Development is exactly that — a Partnership Between Me and the Lord to Create Partnerships with Those Who’s Hearts’ He’s Touching for Our Benefit.
The Lord promises to provide, but expects me to work. My work is to pray and go — share our mission with those He connects us to. If they join us, my work is to pray for and to communicate with those who’s hearts He’s touched to be on our Support Team. Have I always done a good job of this? No. Have our supporters cut us a lot of slack? Yes. But it still falls on me to do the work, and the Lord to stir the hearts.
On one fundraising trip back to the USA in 1997, I was flagging in my zeal for fundraising. Through a friend, the Lord directed me to Ezra 10:4, “Rise up. This matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”
This gave me some renewed faith and courage to press ahead in my partnership with the Lord to share our mission with others and ask them to join us through financial and prayer support. As tough as it was to get on the phone, I started calling my list of people.
All of this was happening in the office of longstanding and dear friends of ours — a businessman and his wife, very supportive of our ministry for many years, who made a cubicle available for me to make calls.
After a couple days of calling people using his office, he came in and sat down. “How’s it going,” he asked?
Honestly I told him it was going slow, but a few were responding positively to our mission and need.
Then he said, “I’ve always wanted to give away $100,000 to the cause of Christ, and I’ve decided to give it to you.” Over a period of three years he gave that commitment — the largest single gift we ever received — and helped fund us and our mission in Central Asia for the next six years.
So if you need to have more money for your cause, and are flagging in zeal to get at the work of Partnership Development, don’t leave the field! Don’t be discouraged by a church or individual who’s just dropped support. Don’t focus on the five people who just said “No. Can’t.” Focus on the Lord and His resources and promises. Focus on the fact that He’s called you to do what you’re doing. And . . .
“RISE UP! THIS MATTER IS IN YOUR HANDS. WE (someone, many) WILL SUPPORT YOU. SO . . . TAKE COURAGE AND DO IT!” — Ezra 10:4