My Turn looking back at six “lost months”
One thing that has kept us going is our amazement, everywhere we go, at the new upsurge of interest in the Hidden Peoples. What we have prayed and worked for so long is at last beginning to happen. Let me give a few examples:
- Unreached (Hidden) Peoples emphasis is now a clean sweep with all the mission agencies. They are even scheduling which unpeached groups to penetrate by what year. If all of us together do it right, we should be able to penetrate (enter) all the remaining 17,000 groups y 1995, and reach' them by the year 2000.
- Ten thousand copies of our 895page book, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, were sold last year. That means at least 10,000 people are studying missions, with an emphasis on the unreached. In those courses which we ourselves administrate, we had almost 2000 students last year and expect 5000 this year.
- A number of the personnel at the Center travel almost constantly, speaking about missions and the on. reached peoples. See page 36 for some of their itineraries.
- Independent of our initiative, a second center has been established in the U.S. The Midwest Center for World Mission has expressed the determination to work in cooperation with us with the same goals. [Our next issue of Mission Frontiers will highlight the four North American "Centers for World Mission" (two are in Canada).l5) But in August we felt God was leading us into a new understanding about how mission renewal can take place in our country. This new, discipleship element is now incorporated in the Mission 2000 Plan. We believe that, more than anything else even more than the Frontier Fellowship this program can mobilize thousands of churches in America to help complete the missionary task.
While God is giving our efforts amazing success, yet, at the very same time, Satan has done his very best to hinder, discourage, divide, confuse and destroy. These last six months have been so difficult we sometimes wondered if we would even survive, personally and institutionally. What a comfort the Bible and your letters have been to us during this difficult time!
We remind ourselves that everyone who ever did anything really important in the Bible faced bristling obstacles. Yet Ezra testified (Er. 5:8) that "because the Lord was overseeing the entire situation, our enemies did not force us to stop building." That is the way it has been with us (not that we have flesh and blood enemies). Let me briefly outline what has actually happened.
We were unable to make the full $300,000 quarterly mortgage payment and were told to expect foreclosure immediately. We began a waiting period that stretched longer and longer, and that kept us from setting specific goals to shoot for.
We began work on the Mission 2000 mobilization plan.
We still received no notice of foreclosure. What should we do?
For a number of years, long before we came her, more than 100 housing units have been an integral part of the campus. Since these houses surround the campus, most of our staff are housed there.
Because of our financial difficulty, some of our board felt it was necessary sell a number of the houses in order to pay off the remaining balance on the campus proper.
Yet we had been planning all along that our operating budget, once the houses were paid for, would come almost entirely from those rents. If we were to sell the houses, how would we get the money we would need without doing what we felt we should never do forever compete for funds with other agencies?
Still no notice of foreclosure.
We again called Point Loma College to ask for clarification. The officials of this wonderful Christian college seemed reluctant to foreclose yet were clearly under pressure not to let things go on indefinitely.
We were told by friends that even Point Loma students were praying earnestly for us.
Our staff watched, distressed, as appraisers looked through their homes and volunteer carpenters began readying them for sale. The staff were told they had first choice, but they had neither money nor the credit rating necessary to buy. Where would they go?
We saw our much needed resources in jeopardy, and our wonderful missionary community in dissolution.
Still no foreclosure notice!
Campus Crusade's top financial adviser suggested a compromise solution which we, in turn, proposed to Point Loma, as follows:
- they would not foreclose until this coming September, when our final balloon payments would come due;
- we would send them the deeds to all the housing as collateral against our intent to pay by September;
- if by September we did not have enough money, then we would begin to sell whatever houses were necessary in order to complete the balloon payment.
It seemed like a workable solution. Would Point Loma agree to it? As a body, we fasted and prayed long hours and waited the two weeks until Point Loma's board would meet to decide. March 1985.
The answer from Point Loma gave us essentially two options: immediate foreclosure, or an extension of two years on our final balloon payment with an immediate escalation of interest on the houses. If we chose the latter, we would have to pay an additional $10,000 more per month.
That answer was completely unexpected. None of us would have thought of it. We were really stunned!
Ralph commented, "This is very good of the college to do this for us, but can a drowning man make good use of an extra half hour? We'll have to believe we can and that this is our opportunity to spread the vision further."
We requested permission to meet with Point Loma officials to get clarification and to discuss the details. My husband and our general manager, Art McCleary, represented the staff, and a board member, Don Richardson, and a real estate developer, John Patterson, represented the Development Committee of our Board.
Once more, the college officials stated that we could not sell any of the houses unless by so doing we would completely pay the balance owed on all the property ($8 1/2 million), They observed that the houses are absolutely essential for financial stability of the campus proper a position we had held since we first came on the campus. They also agreed to postpone the actual payment of the additional interest for six months, pushing our series of quarterly payments back one month (now July 1st, Oct. 1st, etc. instead of June 1st, Sept 1st, etc.).
They also expressed their admiration for and appreciation of our "openhearted, no secrets style of negotiation."
April 3, 1985
For us, there was no option but to accept Point Loma's two year extension offer as from the Lord.
Many of us felt that to liquidate part of our assets by selling the houses would both postpone and possibly jeopardize an ultimate solution and drastically alter the nature of our organization.
April 10, 1985
After much prayer and discussion. our Board voted to postpone until Sept 1986 any attempts to sell portions of our property.
We are trusting that in the meantime the Lord will move on the hearts of enough people so that we will be able to pay off the entire mortgage completely. This vote at least gives us time to ask for help.
Even more important, it gives us time to work on the Mission 2000 Campaign. If this takes off, it can help us (and other mission projects) a great deal.
God has answered prayer. For the first time in months our Board is in agreement.
May 6, 1985
We have worked almost constantly for the last month getting this edition of Mission Frontiers ready to go to press. We knew you would want to know what is happening.
It is incredible how difficult it has been! Discouragement (when we should have been encouraged), you name it!. We need your prayers!
In my own devotional time this morning, the Lord led me to Mark 4:40. "Why were you so fearful? Don't you even yet have confidence in me?"
I thought of the miracle after miracle God had performed for the children of Israel before they came to the edge of Canaan (then refused to go in)!
I thought of the miracle after miracle the disciples witnessed Jesus perform and still found it hard to believe!
I thought of the many miracles God has done for as in this place. (See Once More Around Jericho or its update, The Kingdom Strikes Back ) God has been so faithful. Yet like the disciples, when we look at the mountain still to be crossed, we are afraid.
But when we look at Him, it is different lie is abundantly able to do all that we ask or think. He has not changed. Pray that our faith fail not!