I’m going to talk about something that most missionaries would not talk about. It feels great to have full financial support. And it feels awful to not be fully supported, but I’ll leave that one for another day.
I remember the months when I was fully supported but I’ll leave the months when I was not fully supported for another day. Here are the thoughts and emotions I had when fully supported:
- confidence that I was living and ministering in God’s will
- fullness of joy in God’s provision
- immense gratefulness that God’s people were “in this” with me and that they were being generous with their resources
- an extra measure of faith to believe God for bigger things
- that I was a good provider for my family
The term “fully supported” is a bit of a misnomer. Being fully supported means that at a point in time someone determines that the support goal is at 100%. It is simply a snapshot that can change in the blink of an eye when:
- the goal/need/amount being raised increases because of changes
- a financial partner stops giving unexpectedly
- a special need arises creating a temporary increase in the amount of funds needed
Being “fully supported” should never be taken for granted. Partnership discovery, development or fundraising – whatever we call it, is a lot of hard work. It is a partnership indeed between the missionary, the supporter – and oh yeah, God too. Our awesome God who is self-sufficient:
“For every wild animal of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the air, and all that moves in the field is mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and all that is in it is mine.”
Psalms 50:10-12 NRSV
Not only is God self-sufficient, not needing anything from anyone, he is generous with his belongings. He shares what he has with us. What a great example God is to the rest of us, the Great Sharer. Jehovah Jireh, our provider:
“Yet he has not left himself without a witness in doing good -
giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons,
and filling you with food and your hearts with joy.”
Acts 14:17 NRSV
Being fully supported and feeling great about it is a realization that the Lord is providing for your needs. Yes, God fills our hearts with joy, as Luke wrote, in more ways than one. For the missionary, being fully supported is one expression of God “filling your heart with joy.”
Missionary, are you fully supported? Rejoice in God’s provision for you! Be thankful. And continue your own hard work in expressing your needs, strengthening your relationships and trusting the Lord for his provision.