Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Money and Missions and Me

We are back in Australia, my second country, the country that has sent us as missionaries. We had to return from Thailand because our support was low.

Money. Money. Money.

There are so many beautiful things we get to experience as international Christian workers. We have met some truly beautiful people. We have been introduced to new languages and cultures and new ways of seeing the world.  And even the many “hurts” or hardships have helped us to grow in understanding. We understand what it is like to be “other” and to rarely fully understand what is going on. We know better how scary it is to ask for things when you don’t have all the words. And we have experienced even the financial strain of not knowing what we will eat that week (not often… but it’s happened) or how we will manage yet ANOTHER round of visa fees, or school fees.

We have seen that in all things God is good.

And this Good God has seen fit that we return early to raise more funds.   And fund raising is the most pride crushing challenge of this whole “missionary” gig. Although I have often enjoyed meeting new people, and visiting the many churches we have been privileged to visit; talking about money, or addressing it all makes me feel yucky. I have, at times, felt like a salesman. I have felt disingenuous.  Talking about money is hard hard hard! I am not a good salesman. Especially when I have felt like my family and I were the products.  It has confronted my concept of humility, and my self-perception.

But here’s the thing-

I really REALLY believe in what we are doing in Thailand.  We are trying to actively live out the Gospel with our neighbours, Christian and Buddhist alike. We are supporting missionaries in rough areas doing important stuff.  We are supporting the Thai church to love people through marriage and family struggles and mental illness.  We are speaking value into girls who need to hear it again and again. And our kids get to see and be a part of all this.

We are actively binding up the broken-hearted, using the gifts that God has given us.

I am excited about this.

But I struggle so much to present this in person, because it always feels so connected to money…  and I never EVER want to be accused of “selling”.  I only ever want to BE, and draw people into what God is doing, and how they can be a part of that too.

I feel like if I can write this down, then perhaps my true heart, my true desire can be seen. That perhaps we will not appear that we are selling anything, but only offering a doorway for more Gospel to pour out into the world.  


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