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Sunday, July 23, 2006

I Wish You Knew

I've just finished answering D Birchfiel's "Seven Questions." You can read my responses at OKpreacher, assuming that he decides to post them. One of the questions he asks is, "What do you wish Southern Baptists knew about your ministry?" That was the most difficult question for me to answer; not because I didn't have anything to say, but because I had such a hard time narrowing it down to just one (or two...) That, of course, got me thinking about all that I wish the people that send and support me knew about missions in general, and our ministry specifically.

Here's a list of things I wish you knew:

-We appreciate you. I know that there is no way I would be on the field if it wasn't for your monetary support, and no way I'd be able to stay here without your prayers.

-Missions is not the same as evangelism. It seems like so many of us confuse the two. Missions is more than gospel proclamation, or even sharing Christ across cultures. It is about incarnational living that demonstrates what life in Christ might look like for people in the host culture. We call it cultural translation, and it's hard to quantify.

-We cling desperately to emotional, financial, and prayer support that you have committed to us. When we hear about divisive arguing and politics among the people we depend on, it makes us nervous.

-We don't send three-color printed brochure newsletters anymore. We blog. If you read our blogs, you can get a better idea of what life is like for us.

-We feel like dorks. We are a bunch of nobodies that God sent to other places. Sometimes I wonder if He wasn't just sparing you from our presence in the States! It makes us uncomfortable that you would allow us to represent you on the mission field.

-We expect you to do the same thing we're doing. Granted, most of you don't have to learn a new language, but your job really is the same as ours. Only we have better medical coverage.

-God is working overseas. He's doing amazing, supernatural things that constantly remind us of His presence and grace. We see it on a regular basis. Forgive us for not consistently sharing it with you, it's just that sometimes we think you wouldn't understand.

-We like when you ask questions about our work or otherwise show interest in what we're doing. It reminds us that we're part of a bigger family, and that our ministry matters to someone.

So I guess those are some of the things I wish you knew about our ministries. Now you know.


One Little One said...


Thanks so much for sharing this with us; I appreciate your candor.


loyal reader said...


check your mail


P W Hatcher said...

I don't know how to express this, except that your posts disturb me, in a good way. My dad's oldest brother was a bush pilot in central Mexico, and his son, my cousin, is a Missionary in Austria. I always got/get that same feeling when I was/am around each of them. It is kind of an experiencing an other-world-ness, kind of like a scene from Lewis' space trilogy.
Keep up the work, by His grace, and keep us all informed. It helps us know, in some small way, how to pray.

Wayne Hatcher

OKpreacher said...

Thanks for your answers and your time. There is power in transparency. Thanks for sharing your mission and heart desire for the Lord.


Sarah said...

I think what you wrote is absolutely wonderful. I'm glad that I can support my brothers and sisters on the field. Thank you for your honesty, even when it hurts (that blasted medical insurance)!

Bryan Riley said...

I wish you would share more of the supernatural things he is doing. That is a part of your ministry. I know some may not understand or you may fear being accused of charismatic talk, but, please, bring it on! We want to hear about the amazing things God does when men and women walk in faith. Our culture often has desensitized us to such belief!