Summer dawns to many emotions.
Many days, I’m quite frustrated. It’s hard for words to describe the bitter disappointment and rejection that comes with deputation without sounding resentful. I’ve been in sales for 16 years now, have heard “no” more times than I could ever count and have thick skin. I really don’t take it personal and even now, I don’t take it personally, yet the disappointment remains. Many times I’m sad that churches are missing out on the blessing. I feel bad for them. I’ve been called, now I just need to be sent. I need to get there and I’m anxious to get working, but it’s a real struggle to find church partnerships to finance the ministry. With 100 calls and emails, only about 10 are answered in any way at all and 9 of them are to say that the church is not considering any new missionaries. 1 is a lead that may or may not develop into a partnership. It is not the most effective use of time and resources. There has to be a better way. Many would say that partnering with more individuals and families is that way. We’re fortunate to already about 15 of those, so thankful for their financial support and prayers. I’ve made a conscious decision to target churches as a first priority, thinking there is a real biblical responsibility from churches to send and support, but perhaps I need to change my thinking. We did have a picnic recently for the express purpose of inviting several families of amazing friends to partner. We’ll see how that manifests itself in the next several weeks and months, but I pray that is was successful.
Many days are stressful. In addition to deputation, I’m juggling work, church responsibilities, finishing seminary, studying and preparing for ordination, figuring out how and when to sell our house, what to keep and what to sell, all while being a dad and husband. It’s a lot. How can you make plans as a family when you can’t say for certain how long you’ll be around? When is best? What is best? How is best? It’s hard to know, and we simply rely on God for guidance and provision and rejoice as He continues to show Himself faithful and present in our lives.
Many day are joyful. You move where the Lord leads and speak what’s in your heart and people respond. I thank God for using me as His instrument. In the last several months, we’ve been able to present the ministry at several different churches, from the small, four-corner, country church, to a year or so old church plant, to a church healing from a split, to a medium healthy church. They are each so amazing and filled with beautiful, loving people. We’re so thankful for their prayers and in some cases, their financial support and we’re committed to transforming that investment into fruit through gospel work. One recent church visit was with a church that God so obviously ordained and through a series of contacts and a Wednesday night presentation, they agreed to join us in financial partnership, praise the Lord! The euphoria from days like those power me through the frustrating, stressful ones.
We are about to hit the road this summer and fall, with visits in PA, WY, CO, GA, WV and SC, along with some training through the mission board in Georgia. Pray for safety and patience and that our presentations yield to more church partnerships. Our goal is to be fully funded and ready to go in January 2017. Please pray that this can be accomplished.
Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. – Ecclesiastes 7:8