Revelation 7 talks about a day in the near future when Christ’s dream will finally be fulfilled, His loved and redeemed children, a sea of people from “all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” will gather around His Father’s throne. Though vastly different, they will all be one family, sharing a Brother and a Father they have come to worship.
The sole purpose of AFM is to help make that dream a reality. It’s what we live for. And that dream is deeply embedded within the concept of discipleship. As people accept the gospel, the dream becomes theirs, too. The more people groups that are reached by the gospel, the more people groups are available to invest in the dream.
AFM’s donors come from a wide range of nations, tribes, peoples and tongues. The richness and diversity of their history, culture, language and tradition rivals that of the mission field itself. They come from all over the globe and a variety of circumstances. They speak a wealth of languages and represent various levels of spiritual maturity. In fact, some begin giving long before they are even baptized! Most give while they are alive, but some set up wills or other tools that allow them to give after they die. Some give cash, and others give land, vehicles or other assets. Still others volunteer time, go as missionaries (yes, they are donors, too), scout potential new project sites, or commit to frequent prayer. Some invest their education, experience or talents.
As children, some were inspired by mission stories. Others grew up in the mission field and then shared their inspiring stories. Some send in their donations after running a marathon; others write checks from hospital beds.
More than once I have met donors who weren’t content with their monthly gifts and begged God for a chance to do more. They wanted to do something big. Eventually God granted their request, and with great excitement, they sat down and wrote out a check. Others never get that joy-filled, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but they still give. It isn’t their wealth that makes them a donor, it is their passion for Christ’s dream that turns what they have into a donation, no matter how big or small.
Some of our donors have fled from war zones, gang-ruled communities or communist countries. Some have been persecuted for following the Lamb or for supporting His dream.
As Revelation 7 points out, God’s people are not cookie-cutter images of each other. And the more effective we are in carrying out His mission, the more diverse a group we’re bound to become. What unites us is not our age, appearance, financial status or heritage; it’s our allegiance to the Lamb.