Something that I’ve noted of late, in most of the churches we’ve seen over the past few years, is a reduced focus on global missions. Our current church is something of an exception, but in general I think its fair to say that missionaries over-seas get a lot less air time than they used to.
When I was growing up, my family went on two 1 year missions trips, and I have distinct memories of visiting what seemed like thousands of churches. My dad would speak, sometimes the whole sermon, sometimes just at the end. We often gave a slide show. And occasionally my siblings and I would be put into play with cuteness factor, by singing “As the Deer” in front of the congregation. That was just how it worked. When you give up a year or more of your life — many missionaries, their entire adult lives — and everything you’re comfortable with, to reach people, the body of Christ is supposed to support you.
But I can’t think of a time, in recent memory, where I’ve seen a missionary invited into a church to ask for help in the “Great Commission.” We build mega-churches, and cater to spoiled North American’s who want God delivered to them like entertainment, or pop-culture, and although there’s nothing wrong with delivering the message in a relevant way, it seems that we’ve forgotten that there are people in the world who have never had a chance to be picky about how the sermon is delivered. And those burdened few who were born with a passion for the lost in distant countries… well, they don’t fit in that much any more.
Its probably obvious that this is a passion of mine — one that I’m still learning about, and still wondering what I’m supposed to do with — but rather than continuing my rant, I thought I’d just pass on a request from one of the missionary families we support. Its profoundly out of context for those of us in our comfy churches to realise what it actually means to be so out of your comfort zone, so on the edge of ministry… and so dependent on God and the obedience of His children.
This family of 5 has recently returned to Paupa New Guinea after a heart-wrenching blow to their ministry sent them home to re-group for a couple years. In that relatively brief space of time while they were away, their house was all but taken over by the jungle and the climate, and they’ve been struggling to rebuild their base and re-connect with the people there — both as leaders and as facilitators who support other missionaries on the field…
On November 23rd, our mission helicopter was involved in an accident that totalled the helicopter. It was only by the grace of God that the pilot walked away safely, but it has shelved our whole helicopter program until the Lord provides funds to replace this important piece of equipment. There is insurance, but this will not completely cover the replacement cost, and our pilots are trusting the Lord to upgrade to a larger helicopter.Many of our colleagues, in very remote locations, are completely reliant on this helicopter to meet all of their supply needs and for medical evacuations. Just the other week, one family had to charter a commercial helicopter to get their family out due to possible appendicitis –at a great cost.
We too were planning on using this helicopter to shuttle in our house building materials on January 8th as we have a 6 person work team coming to rebuild our house – materials that will not fit on our small mission airplane. Now, we have to look for other options –and we’re hitting walls on every direction.
Our faith is in God that He will provide, because His word says, that “Faithful is He who called you, who will also do it.” He has so graciously provided a work team to come to meet this important need and thus allow us to get back into language study quickly. He has held the rain off day after day as I’ve been preparing our timber, He has provided all the timber and furniture we need and it’s all coming together as needed –God is sooooo good.
But right now we urgently need you to stand with us in prayer, believing that God will part the waters to get these building materials into the bush in time for the work team. There are some options – please pray that God would definitely show us which route to take and that He would provide the funds that are necessary to meet this extra cost. It’s all coming down to a God moment –where our backs are to the wall, and He alone is the one who must work and thus alone receive all the glory for doing it.
As well, please pray for some parts for our generator and quad to arrive in the next day or so. They are coming by mail, but this is delayed due to our main airstrip being closed. We need to overhaul our quad this next week to prepare it to go bush on the above flights and our generator needs to also be overhauled and we had a mechanic available to go into the bush next week to repair it.
Thank you for standing with us right now, we couldn’t do it without you.
If some of you reading would consider re-directing your tithe this month, it is very easy to give a tax-deductible donation to this particular missions agency, and we’d be happy to provide you with the details on how you can help these missionaries re-build their home.