As a missionary, I naturally talk with lots of people about the prospect of becoming a missionary. It seems to come up without much effort in regular conversations, especially among Christians. Generally speaking people have a lot of positive reactions to the idea, at least initially. Though before long, I usually encounter some common objections. One of the most common reasons for dismissing the notion of being a missionary is the aspect of support-raising. To be honest, I totally understand. I was there and from time to time I still feel anxious about it. However, there have been some discoveries that I’ve made on our journey that have also made that part exhilarating.
- A Humble Dependence– Support Raising keeps me in a posture of prayer and dependence upon God. I know that we hate to be dependent on others in this life and we literally work to make that not the case but in God’s economy things don’t work quite the same. A sign of spiritual maturity in the life of a believer is not greater independence but more and more dependence upon Him. That is largely because we know that we cannot do anything of lasting importance without God (John 15:4,16). We need Him to be with us and us with Him.
- A Miraculous View– Support Raising is a chance to watch God move. We’ve all heard the stories of God meeting the needs of people in miraculous ways. Most believe that God is still doing these things but only some have seen or recognize when He is actually doing it. Maybe this is because God is not usually our plan B let alone our plan A. We often find it easier to trust in our insurance, credit cards or favor with men instead of turning to God for our needs. Support raising doesn’t work that way. It is literally a chance to see God supply for your needs on a constant basis. Even though he uses his people to supply for the need, it is no less miraculous. We are always blown away when God moves on his people to remember us and be generous to his work.
- A Spiritual Network– Support Raising is an incredible way to watch God get people into what he is doing around the Globe. Probably every missionary has wondered what missions would be like if God had made us all independently wealthy and we could have funded all of our ministry by ourselves. My next thought is usually “How sad that would have been!”. Only later in the journey did I realize, that God had used our relationships and connections to gather people’s attention on his work from around the globe. We tend to care about where our money goes. That curious reality takes effect when we have to invite others to help us. God builds up his spiritual network around the globe that is invested and focused on His grand plan of redemption!
- A God-Sized Scope– Support Raising is a constant reminder that all of this is much bigger than me and what have or what I can do. We are constantly reminded of the fact that we need the resources that only God can supply through his people to accomplish His work. Otherwise, this would only go as far as what I have or what I can do and that quite simply, would not be a God-sized work. A God-sized work requires God-sized resources and no single person or church has that on their own. We must support raise to see that happen.
- A Faith Boost– Support Raising, as cliché as it sounds, has actually deepened our faith. We have learned a lot of lessons since we began this journey but one of the biggest is that God has never left us. He has taken care of us time after time and then some. We can literally never say that “God can’t do it” because we have seen Him do so much. Nothing is impossible for him. Now that doesn’t mean that we aren’t tempted to doubt or lose faith like everyone else, but it does mean that when we do we have a lot to look back upon to boost our faith when we are in that place. God has done so much in the past that we look backwards to help us walk forwards! That is faith. We know that the same God he was, is the same God he is and will be again! He is faithful!
I share all this with the hope of encouraging. If you have ever considered that God may be calling you to be a missionary but you have let support raising deter you, consider that the biggest reason you don’t want to take that step might be one of the biggest reason why you should. If you let him, God will turn your fears into blessings but only as you seek to obey him in faithfulness. Oh and by the way, if you feel like being part of our help as the Fowler’s seek to do the Lord’s work in Panama, just click here! (: