God blesses us in so many ways and often in ways we do not expect. Though the date to begin training in Michigan is still over a month away, it seems that in some ways, my training has already begun. I am, once again, learning that it is always safe to place everything in God’s hands.
A little over a month ago, I started putting my support team together. I was apprehensive at the thought of approaching friends, family, and those who do not readily fall into any category. Many of these people, including family, I had not had contact with in many years, or even decades. I was especially not looking forward to asking them for money. I knew that people would understand that the funds are for a good cause, but I had the uncomfortable feeling that I would be perceived as a salesman.
Then I remembered: This program is not about me. It is about God and his matchless love. He suggested to me that he will handle all of it if I am willing to listen to his voice and submit myself to his directions. I started doing the legwork – writing letters and making both phone calls and face-to-face contacts. Almost immediately, I was amazed at how quickly my fear dissipated. The decision to trust God in everything completely changed my outlook.
Then something even more amazing happened. One of the first people I called was a former co-worker from years ago. I had always assumed he was non-religious, but in the course of our conversation he told me he has had an off-and-on relationship with Jesus for most of his life. We talked for over half an hour. During that time, he opened up and expressed a desire to let Jesus back into his life. As we were about to finish the conversation, I asked if it would be OK if I prayed with him and he said, “Yes”.
That same day, I called someone with whom I had gone to grade school. When I told her why I was calling – to build a support team for my frontier missionary ministry – she could hardly contain her excitement! She said she could not wait to support my endeavour. She has been away from the church for many years but still believes in God. Toward the end of the conversation I said to her, “I believe if God called you to go to the mission field, you would say ‘Yes’”. After a short pause, she agreed.
Had it not been for my need to raise funds for this trip to minister to the Tai-Kadai people group, I would never have had an opportunity to reach out to these friends from my past. Someday I may find out whether seeds planted in those conversations with them have borne fruit for our Father’s kingdom.
As I have continued this work, I realize that fundraising is, in its own right, a ministry. By inviting my friends and family to be blessed by giving support to frontier missions, I am, in turn, blessed to be involved in the rewarding encounters that start with that invitation. Please pray with me that, as I continue these conversations, the Holy Spirit will touch the hearts of those I have the privilege of talking with. I also invite you to be blessed, and to be a blessing, by giving your financial support to this work.