I am going to quote myself today :-) It took me a year to write this.
“The consistent act of sitting behind his (my father's) desk once a month, writing a check to each of his missionaries he supported was a CONSTANT DEPOSIT… NOT TO THE MISSIONARIES ALONE but to his children WATCHING him. To me watching him year in and year out.”
(When I mention church & missionary, see at the end who I believe it is)
In love for the sake of YOUR children and the call of God on their lives , I write this. (That is if you are open to the fact that God could call any of your kids to the mission field and the absurd notion that they will have to ask the Body of Christ to support them like Paul did - or even Jesus who had woman supporting him where He went.)
Most of you will secretly say “God forbid my kids ever have to do that”
I write my short story to you...
When I was a little girl, I knew when the first of every month started. You know why? Because my father had a check book and 4 envelopes on his wooden desk.
This consistent act of sitting behind his desk once a month, writing a check to each of his missionaries he supported was a CONSTANT DEPOSIT… NOT TO THE MISSIONARIES ALONE but to his children WATCHING him.
I want you to hear this in love.
It was not about the 4 missionaries that he supported.
Indirectly, each month, he was sowing seed into my heart.
The day Christ came and stood before me when I was 19, giving me Jeremiah 1:5 - my call to the Nations, I knew something deep inside of me: God will raise up people to sit behind their desks one day, to support me faithfully on the field - like my dad to his missionaries.
My father’s monthly faithful deposits
to say YES
to God’s call
on my life.
It modelled to his children that
God calls people to the mission field and it is not a shame.
God will provide and the way he does it, is through people in the church.
It is not the governing body who supports, it is people who believe in the call of God on my life.
People will keep their commitment to God because my father did that. (oops perhaps not. I lost 30% of my sponsorship this year)
If God calls me to missions, it will be ok. I can keep my head up high because my father looked up to them. He invited them into our house. They were special guests who paid a high price to follow Jesus.
He had books upon books of missionaries in our house. Vinya was my favourite. It spoke of missionaries, angels, miracles, beatings for God’s sake and God’s audible voice. (see end of this letter for the link to this book)
AS A CHILD I WANTED THAT.
I GOT IT ALL and more (except for the beatings… they did not catch us making a undercover evangelistic film with X that day in country X… we had to hide 3 days among the tourists in a hotel, because they just killed two south african missionaries very close to where we were filming… that is unfortunately the closest I have come suffering for Jesus… except for the time we got chased out of the Indian village by angry Hindu men, and... for those who beg me to return to SA. That pains me deeply. Don't
they understand the concept of the 10-40 window and why it exists? Only 2% of all missionaries go and live there..
I guess only 2/100 understand... or... only 2 / 100 gets the 1/10 tithe to help them stay... (these are actual stats by the way)
Recently I spoke with my father about missions finance. He admitted one thing. He said he remembered how the missionaries would visit his home, begging him to keep on giving the mere R50 or R100. (today it is like giving R500) He could never relate to them. We had money.
In the end, we do actually look down on missionaries… they don't really make it in life, do they? They are the Lazarus beggars of the church.
Then my father lost his business and became in need himself. I told him how little people give, and I said: “I wish people would choose one missionary, and give their entire tithe to them” That is when my dad said: “I would not have understood this before, but now I regret supporting so many with so little. I should have supported one family with a good sum of money”
My dad GOT it. But hey! Why should a missionary do well financially! Outch. We REALLY REALLY believe they ought to be the poorest of the poor. Truth is, missionaries constantly give their overflow to missionaries around them because the need is constantly so high.
Why tithe? My believe is this:
Did Jesus mention the tithe? Yes. Matt 23:23 "You should have practiced the latter without neglecting the former - giving a tenth"
It blessed the King of Salem Melchizedek - a prophetic shadow of us blessing Christ with at least 1/10. Tithing came before the Law. It has nothing to do with the law. (Heb 7:8 "The 10th is collected by him who is declared living" - that is Christ)
The most beautiful promise goes with it in Malachi.
Why not at least give the King of Kings 1 / 10? I get to keep 9/10 !
What is that 1/10 to you?
What keeps you from giving 1/10?
What is your WORD OF THE LORD TO YOU about his 1/10? and are you obedient?
It will be different for all of us. Obedience here is the key. For me, it is the missionary I support in the 10-40 window. It is the Gospel going out in relevant ways to people who’s language I will never learn. People I will never meet - but in heaven… I will. They are my reward one day. I cannot take anything with me to heaven… I can take people with me.
so... why keep that 1/10 ?
why keep R2000 of your 20 000?
Why keep your 8 000 of your 80 000?
Why keep 100 000 or your million?
Actually, why keep 900 000 if you can live of 100 000 in luxury every month?
I give my R900 of my R9 000 - I not only give my 1 / 10. I have given my LIFE to pursue the Word of the Lord to me. My dreams. My Family. A safe house. A Husband by choice. Children. Pension. Retirement. Holidays. Business dreams. (I would have made one heck of a business person!)
What do you do, to pursue His word to you?
You will not believe how people look down on me when they hear I have to raise support. “you must work” As if I do not work my behind off! (now you know why I am skinny hahaha)
And I am studying to be able to create more resources for the Thai world that has 0.5% Christians. Well, I gave up my silly South African pride to be where I am.
Let them stare and talk behind my back as they do. I have gained much more than what the above could EVER have given me. EVER. Husband included.
And my Christian brothers and sisters in South Africa will not even tithe “because they are not under the law” or "South Africa is in such a mess, come and live here" (where we all have bibles and churches)
Parents refuse to send their kids to us in Thailand for a one year missions experience because studying, making money, and getting married (believe it or not!) is more important than if God call their children to go on (at least a short term) missions trip. Go figure. Culture is King.
We've missed point.
In some ways we miss a part of Christ.
Being part of his last, most important command. To GO. To make Disciples. To bring Joy to His heart.
And our children will miss this too
if we don't model what we preach.
For that I am sorry.
It was never about money in itself.
God gave me a scripture for 2016 and it came true.
I have given away 50% more of what I get through monthly sponsorship.
How it happened, is a mystery - if you look at my bank statements.
This was the scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:11
You (sponsors) will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion,
and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
Display tithing to your children . Show them God care about Missions and the Lost.
Let's define common ground as to who the church and missionary is before I continue: The Temple was destroyed in AD70. The church (the body of Christ) came together in houses. Constantine's decision to cease the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire was a turning point for Early Christianity, sometimes referred to as the Triumph of the Church - Suddenly we had "mega non-underground public church in big buildings"
Years later the Protestant movement would happen (break away from the Catholic church 1517 onwards) When Paul (We would call him a missionary today) mentions church, it was never an institution or denomination. Home groups were to take care of widows, orphans, poor people - we see this in Acts.
In Philippians (4:1-20) only 1 church gave to Paul. (He never mentions that only 1 church should have given to him) He writes to them and say: ...I rejoiced in the Lord that you at last renewed your concern for me. It was good of you to share my trouble. Moreover you Philippians know in the early days of your acquaintance with the Gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not 1 church in Macedonia where I set out from, shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only. Your gift was a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God, and my God will meet all your needs..."
Paul had trouble finding people in the Body of Christ (the church) to support him. There is no basis in the Bible to give to YOUR church only (your denomination where you gather in your own town) Because pastors in churches always say that you should only give to "your church" missionaries lack major finance when they live over seas - JUST LIKE PAUL. Nothing is new.
BOOK I MENTIONED - VANYA - Buy here
A Classic That's Inspired Millions! Out of the dark shadows of Soviet atheism rose a fearless young man whose boldness for Christ would make him a testimony to millions of believers around the world. This is the true story of Ivan (Vanya) Moiseyev, a soldier in the Soviet Red Army who was ruthlessly persecuted and incarcerated for his faith. Through two years of trial and torture, he never denied his Savior, and he never hesitated to share the gospel with anyone who would listen. You'll be inspired to live for Christ in your own world as never before after you experience the gripping story of a believer named Vanya.
FOR BRILLIANT EASY READ MISSIONARY STORIES FOR YOUR CHILDREN & YOU