by Missy Shook
Our family had the privilege of going to the field fully supported by our sending church for our first term. We are now traveling on deputation raising support so that we can return to Thailand and our ministries there. Having already worked on the field, we have obtained a great appreciation for mission work and what the missionary goes through on a day-to-day basis, which has helped as we present our ministries on deputation. Since we have been back in America for over a year traveling to many churches and meeting so many great Christians, we have begun to see our co-laborers (the giver) in a whole new light.
As missionaries, we are busy doing the work God has called us to do.It is easy to get a one-track mind and to think only of OUR needs. Have we stopped to think about the people who supply the money which comes from each supporting church? No matter what stage of mission work we are in, whether on deputation, on the field, or on furlough, humanly speaking we are 100 percent dependent on the giver. This may be stating the obvious, but I wonder how often we truly consider what our supporters sacrifice so that we can serve on the foreign field.
Consider these two scenarios:
1. A Godly Christian lady who has worked in the same office for over 25 years is the only born-again believer in the workplace. Every day she has to hear the foul language and crude jokes being told. She is the only one who wears skirts or anything modest for that matter. Her spirit is vexed every day as she steps through the office doors. This lady attends church every time the doors are open, and she serves as the Sunday school superintendent at the church where she has been a member for 35 years. She gives her hard-earned money every week to support missionaries.
2. A faithful, Godly layman has delivered mail for over 25 years. He is physically tired every day as he weathers the elements (in the blazing heat and bitter cold) to complete his job. Aside from working a secular job, he has served in the church as a deacon, a choir member, a Sunday school teacher, and a greeter. This man has encountered many trials through the years as the provider of his home but has never failed to give sacrificially to the Faith Promise program at the church where he has been a member for 35 years.
These are just two examples out of the many thousands of hard-working people who give faithfully so that we can do the work God has called us to do. As I have witnessed my parents’ lives (the two scenarios I shared) these past few months of living with them, I am humbled at their personal sacrifice as they give faithfully to support us and others on the mission field.
I want to leave my fellow missionaries with this challenge: consider the face(s) behind every dollar of your support check that you and your family receive each month. Consider the work of the giver! (Thank you, all of you who give! Love you!)