The Role of Planned Giving

James Petty

January 16th, 2018 @ 8:27 am

It is hard to say exactly when my deep friendship with a certain fundraising missionary family began. God brought our hearts closer as we traveled together from church to church, wrestled with how to raise God-fearing teens in this secular world, and shared meals of rice, gluten and peanut sauce on paper plates.

My missionary colleagues had been struggling with their fundraising for many months. English is not their native tongue (though they speak many other languages), and their background as refugees caused them to feel a degree of cultural separation when they spoke in churches and visited donors.

As I watched my colleagues struggle, God whispered to my heart, You need to help! Unsure of what this extra commitment would mean for myself and my family, but determined to be obedient to the “still, small voice,” I connected with my colleagues over a Sabbath meal, a season of prayer and shard mission dreams. We set up in-home visits and church presentations together, praying each day that their fundraising goals would be met by Fall 2017 so they could return to their unreached Muslim people group as soon as possible.

Hundreds of miles of driving to speaking appointments through blizzards, falls on ice that broke bones, navigating the baffling complexities of U.S. healthcare—my friends faced many challenges. Often they were tempted to think they would never meet their fundraising goals. And, in fact, they didn’t. But God did. He showed up in many beautiful ways, humbling all of us as we saw His gracious hand connect us with more and more donors who caught the vision of our missionaries advancing the gospel in the territory of Al-Qaeda. God truly owns the cattle on a thousand hills!

As the home visits and church presentations clicked by, I was humbled to witness God moving in miraculous ways. The missionaries’ support goals were met in just a few short weeks as God moved on the hearts of friends, church members, pastors and people of spiritual influence. I felt that the biggest blessing was mine as I watched God carry my friends past their funding goals, through training, and to O’Hare airport to catch their flight to Africa. I was so very thankful to have been allowed to play a part.

What is the role of Planned Giving in helping AFM missionaries reach the unreached? Simply put, Planned Giving enables those who can’t go to enable those who can. Behind every arrowhead there is a shaft and feathers, and the arrowhead goes nowhere without them. My missionary friends are the arrowhead, and God has called the rest of us to be the shaft and feathers, providing strength and direction so the arrowhead can fly straight and true. The friendship I share with the missionary family, forged in long, cold road trips across the USA, now spans the wide ocean and points me to that glorious day when the unreached will finally be reached, and all the redeemed will be reunited before God on the sea of glass!

If you would like more information on how AFM Planned Giving can help you open the floodgates of the Gospel to the unreached, please contact James Petty at (269)473-4250 or email Jpetty@afmonline.org.