Upon hearing that I’m a missionary, people are always curious about my finances. They ask, as sensitively as they can, how I can afford to be on the mission field. When I mention raising support, people tend to cringe and almost always ask if I hate it.
As shocking as it seems, I love raising support! I encourage every missionary to raise support instead of relying on themselves to provide finances. There are two reasons why I believe so strongly in the idea of raising support from individuals and churches.
First, I love to see how God provides. I believe that God has called me into mission work. I believe that it is His will that I am in Thailand working with Empower International. I believe that God doesn’t want me to be poor, but instead wants me prosper and not be lacking in any area of my life. And I believe that God always, ALWAYS provides when we are in His will! God is not lacking finances or anything else, so of course He will provide all that I need. The fun part, is seeing where His provision comes from.
I have been doing full time mission work for over ten years and there hasn’t been a single day during that time where I haven’t had food, water or anything else that I needed. God always provides. Occasionally an unexpected financial need will arise that I know I cannot afford under normal circumstances. But, without fail, the money always arrives, often before I even have a chance to start wondering where it will come from.
Last year my computer died and I admit, I stressed a little bit. My computer is my link to my family and friends in other parts of the world. It’s where I store and edit all the photos I take. I use it to write ministry newsletters and plan events. I use it to process all the accounting for the ministry. It’s a part of my daily life so I sat down and prayed. God knows how important my computer is to my life and ministry, so He provided. Within a week, a friend had donated enough money for me to buy a new computer!
Some people think that God doesn’t care about the small things in life but I believe He does. God wants me to be happy and He provided my dogs because they bring me joy on a daily basis. This month my dog, Gracie, got sick. After taking her to the vet I found out that she needed emergency surgery to save her life and it was going to cost a few hundred dollars. Normally I wouldn’t have that much money that wasn’t already budgeted for something else, but this month I did. This month my support came in and there was a few hundred extra dollars. I wasn’t sure what it was for but I put it in savings, knowing that God knew what it was for. And I was able to provide medical care to save Gracie’s life, plus extra to bless the people who helped save her. God cares about my dogs and wants me to continue to have the joy in my life that they provide.
Seeing God’s provision in my life is exciting and fun!
Second, I love the relationships that are built through support raising. Some times being on the other side of the world is hard. It gets lonely and I fear that the longer I am gone, the more I am forgotten. The phrase “Out of sight, out of mind” definitely rings true, it’s part of human nature. But there is a bond that is formed when someone believes in me and loves me enough to give me their hard earned money. There is SO much joy and thankfulness in my heart when people give towards my life and ministry. There are no words to describe the love I feel towards my supporters, I just want to bring them all to Thailand so that I can hug them on a daily basis!
A few days ago a new supporter emailed me about monthly giving. He said that he didn’t want to set up automatic donations because he wanted a reminder to say extra prayers for me on the 15th of every month. This made me happy. Not because of the monthly donations but because I know that his family will not forget me. Our friendship will continue and I can count on his family when I need extra prayers.
My supporters are the first people to request time with me on my trips to America. And I love it! Relationships are so important and these are holy, God-filled friendships that will continue no matter how long I am gone.
Those are the two main reasons that I love raising financial support. God always provides!!!!