Bright Hope for Tomorrow
Is it really possible for a team of people to serve the entire mission cause? Is it possible to serve mission agencies, denominations, and local churches as such as well as young people on college campuses? What would an organization do to accomplish all that?
1. The USCWM stands for the overall rehabilitation of hope and vision for the Unfinished Task of World Evangelization.
Many organizations have started out with this kind of broad goal but have had so many problems merely surviving that they have ended up promoting themselves more than the other organizations whose life and health are essential to the cause of final outreach. We hope we can do otherwise. For example: a) We are attempting to stock the materials of all the agencies in the world working to penetrate the final 17,000 people groups. b) We are trying to assist the regional and local programs of all mission agencies by stimulating awareness and vision in local churches. c) We are undertaking several projects of a GENERAL nature that no one mission agency can readily perform for itself For instance, we are:
- setting up an organization which will serve local churches in their attempts to gear into the final countdown of history.
- writing one prayer guide and expecting more than one denomination to use it.
- setting up a basic nationwide college credit course on the mission cause and finding a hundred schools and dozens of mission agencies who want their young people to use it.
- aiding the development of mission strategy by providing support services to a team of computer specialists who are seeking to map and graphically present exact locations and descriptions of every people of the world.
2. Our "impartial" stance means that we can be consulted by the public for a balanced overall picture.
Donors to mission agencies of all kinds can expect to get an impartial picture of things.
Young people considering mission service can talk with us about the whole range of possibilities without getting a pitch forjust one organization.
Churches considering where they ought to focus their attention can expect us to give them a balanced picture.
Apart from the minimal immediate needs of our own personnel and facilities, we have nothing to "sell.'
3. What we are doing to serve the entire mission industry in general has led us to grapple with certain specific tasks such as starting new organizations and programs when they are missing.
The William Carey International University.
The mission industry needs the services of a small specialized university devoted to certain pressing problems: a better B.A. degree program, one that may show the way for 100,000 students per year to go through college (under many schools) spending 6 months each academic year overseas.
A better Ph.D. degree program, one that avoids tearing its students away from their work for years on end, and one that takes advantage of the hundreds of missionaries all over the world today who hold Ph.D. degrees building on their knowledge and skills to offer to other missionaries and national leaders the certification governments are more and more requiring.
The Global Mapping Project.
The mission industry needs a specialized computer group focused upon 'mapping' the existing and unfinished task.
The Global Prayer Digest.
The mission industry needs a high quality daily devotional tool which can be customized to meet the needs of any group of 500 or more people.
The Perspectives Extension Program.
The mission industry needs a 200 hour college credit course that can be taken by any student in any state university, secular or Christian campus, at any time.
The Institute of Global Urban Studies.
The Zwemer Institute of Muslim Studies.
All these things are happening right now on the campus of the U.S. Center for World Mission!
A Capsule Comment on Finances
Are these amazing activities and urgent goals going to sink like the Titanic? Are we going to lose this modest, extensive, well used property? Here is a capsule summary of our situation:
$20 million total value of our 35 acre campus.
- $4.9 million still owed on main campus
- $2.9 million still owed on campus housing
Payments? Item #2 pays for itself. Item #1 cannot possibly do so, and we must pay $300,000 per quarter (next payment this coming July 1st), which is just about half interest (like rent) and half principal (paying off the property). Paying at this rate, we would pay off the campus in less than 6 years. However, we are required to pay the TOTAL BALANCE on October 1st of next year. (By then, items I and 2 will be down to about $4.1 and $2.8 million respectively).
Our immediate problem is to make the next $300,000 payment due July 1st. If we miss that, the rest is academic.
However, we have three action plans:
1. To continue spreading the vision and asking for $16.95 'Founders' gifts. Why this approach? This project is otherwise self sustaining, and is committed to assist (not compete with) existing Mission Agencies.
Also, we are beginning to work with the thousands of devout, believing families that need help in using theft time and money more strategically.
We have the seed crystal growing. Forty nine families have given over $50,000 total and are leading the way for 40,110(1 families (one for each North American Protestant missionary family overseas right now) to live on the level of missionaries on furlough (try two thirds of your income).
When 40,000 families rise to this challenge, it will generate $500 million in NEW money for missions EVERY YEAR!
mission agencies. This is the most honorable and courteous approach, least damaging to them.
2. As part of a much larger plan (read the next two pages), encourage 40,000 American families to adopt the same lifestyle as a furloughing missionary family, giving the rest to the cause of missions (as the missionaries, in effect, routinely do). This will generate $500 million per year for others. If however, ten families in 400 churches would like to do this for us (for just three months) we can pay off our entire indebtedness.
3. Finally, we wonder: if right now I could tell you that we had all but the last $1,000 we needed, how many would rush to help? Actually, some people are already writing in saying they would be willing to do this. We will shortly announce a fund set aside for this purpose: all gifts will be returned if we fail to make up the total. Outside Christian leaders will control this fund.
Meanwhile, pray with its that not too many will simply stand on the sidelines and watch as July 1st comes around. In April we had to borrow $141,000 internally. That has not been paid back yet, so we don't have these funds to borrow again!
Be thrilled by the people who speak up on the next two pages. Ralph D. Winter From the 49 Families.
Several weeks ago I wrote to the 'One Third Times Three' participants asking them to tell our readers how and why they were able to give a third of their income to missions. Here are extracts from the letters that have come back. Ifound them extremely interesting and encouraging. I hope you do too.
I am aware that what has been easy for me with a limited budget and an established simple lifestyle will be morn difficult for those with more complicated finances. Yet, when the Lord touches hearts, there is always a way to obey.
It has been an incredible joy to experience how God has blessed us financially during this period¬money has come to us that was totally unexpected.
—Mr. & Mr& DCC.
When my husband died 3 years ago we had been tithing 10% plus with most of this going to help support a missionary family in Japan. Although my income decreased. I determined to continue this commitment. As this worked out very well for me I gradually began to increase my giving. When! first read your challenge for giving 1)3. I was interested but somewhat hesitant. However it seemed the Lord was nudging me to make the commitment and trust Him. It took some time before I was ready to make the step, but I haven't been sorry and! am looking forward to seeing what the Lord will do next,
I'm so grateful for my sons' developing a wonderful attitude towards giving rather than insisting on more and more
for themselves. God has rewarded their willingness to spend the money in this way, like the day they tearfully but willingly gave a portion of their toys to some refugees, and that afternoon, a friend came in, saying her boys had gone through their things and wanted to give them their Logo sets (my boys were ecstatic!) .
I wish every family would try to give sacrificially rather than conveniently, like I used to (and I felt then that I was giving generously how, strange!)
Three Grateful Christians
First we took baby steps and (underwent) attitude changes:
Our cars were used we never made a car payment.
We cut up our credit cards and kept track of our spending.
We realized the 'American Dream" is a Satanic nightmare.
We began valuing people rather than things.
We found out that simple is better. Your Money Matters (MacGregor) and Freedom of Simplicity (Foster) helped us out.
Gradually our giving increased. We were challenged to invest $1,000 into missions in order to put our money where our mouth is. We did. Next the percentage per month increased 12%, 15%,18%. When the U.S. Center gave their challenge, we wondered if we could do it. For the next few months we tried giving 25% to warm up. Then! found out the U.S. Center staff, with their meager earnings, was giving 1)3. So we plunged in and did it too!
You wonder how? Better yet is to wonder what would have happened if we didn't During the 25% and 33% months we had bills totaling over $3,000 unexpectedly come up for the adoption of our son and our missions education. The Lord abundantly provided for these needs .... We can be sure to expect the unexpected from God! It was a matter of obedience.
We prayed. Our position to participate wasn't the greatest, we owed a lot of money, had many bills, and at times it seemed we didn't have much help. We simply made it a matter of prayer.
My brother tells me he 'was already prepared through a decision made years before?'
When I read, belatedly, of your 1/3 x 3 suggestion I wondered, "Why not me?" Of course I have regular church and missions commitments which could not be overlooked. So. I did some calculations and came up with this figure.
It has been a blessing, this bit of extra giving. I cant say the balance left for my use was miraculously expanded; nor what; I in need at all. It is amazing how many expenditures are really nonessential.
We are retired, on "fixed income" below the level where we would have to pay income tax, but in the light of the siwation in the world today, we feel that "spreading the WORD' is the most important thing we can do.
Certainly for us it means watching our pennies more carefully during these months, but we are not really suffering too much. The Lord supplies all our needs and his riches are limitless.
-Mr. & Mrs. Li.
It has been an incredible joy to experience how God has blessed us financially during this time period money has come to his that was totally unexpected.
It wasn't so much a decision to give so that we would be uncomfortable, but rather to give so that others would have life.
[How?] I mention nerve, faith, insight, capability, and financial management. I suspect that nerve is probably the greatest need. . It really doesn't take much faith f you just count your money and figure out what you really need and what you only want Financial management is really very simple if you just don't buy it if you don't need it.—LW'
We thought we were being pretty
good faithfully giving a tithe and (we) thought that was really all God expected Then webegan toseethetithe as just a starting point and (began) giving more and more as we were able..
Matt, 6:21 is a real convicting verse for me: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,"
Mr. & Mrs. IC.
The "sending body" of Jesus Christ should be just as financially committed to the Lord's work as the missionaries are. But we're not!
I believe that for most of us who work hard and have a relatively high personal income in America, a commitment to such a lifestyle will bring us out of debt, with a substantial increase for investment in God's Kingdom! Then we must determine what God would have us do with this increase,
Note: As always, all gifts larger than $15 will hopefully someday be returned or reassigned as the small gifts continue to come in. We treat all larger gifts for property as advances against the proceeds of the small gift campaign.
Do You Belong in This Group?
A suspicious number of overseas addresses appears in the following list. They all represent missionaries (whose incomes are already very modest). Yet missionaries believe in the cause! But there are a number of retired missionaries m the U.S. list, and others with limited income. (In the dollar column note how small one third times three actually is for many of these dear people,)
Last issue we asked people to tell us how they got into such "drastic" behavior as to try to live on two thirds of their income even for three months. You can read some of their responses to ate left. If you think you might belong in this list, are the Order Page tinside back cover) and ask for the One Third Times Three information Packet.