Personal Support Raising
Answering One Man's Questions
Staff members at the US Center for World Mission as missionaries in agencies amund the world, must find people who are moved by God to provide their support.
Some people have questions about the legitimacy of this kind of personal suppon raising. isn't a worker worthy of his lure? Isn't a a bit much for an agency to expect people to go out on a limb ¬and possibly risk their entire life's savings trying to raise suppots so they can work for the agency? Shouldn't the agency itselfprovide adequate salary?
Confronted by these questions a few months ago as he attempted to raise his own support. John Holzmann wrote the following letter to someone from his home church.
Dear Mr. Jongers,
Thank you for your generous gift!
I appreciate your openness in sharing the concerns you have for us. Your love and care shine through! Certainly. beyond your letter itself, your check 's a concrete example of your care.
But now, if you would he so kind. id appreciate your thoughts.
I've been struggling with this matter of "provision providing for my family's needs You helped me to focus more clearly on the issues.
What is my responsibility? What is the Center's responsibility? What is the responsibility of my friends? My family? My church? God Himself!
Some people have criticized me, "John, why don't you find a good paying job: It's not right for you to take a volunteer job without pay when you don't have a paying job!"
You say that you can't get excited about the fact that families go out on the limb work with extreme effort on faithalone no definite incotne, salary, cart, insurance coverage, etc."
You suggest that it is "irresponsible (for the Center to) go out in faith on a project costing millions (without) first crediting) provision for hose who will do the work."
"Ifa oh is to he done.. it has to he done orderly, according to a plan, and that plan has to include proper care for those who do the work. Others have criticized me. 'I Timothy 5:8 says if you don't provide for your own family, you've denied the faith and am worse ihan an unbeliever!'
"John, why don't you find a good paying job? It's not right for you to take a volunteer job without pay when you don't have a paying job!"
Whatever your reasoning, I know you've shared your concerns about our pay package because you love us. Thank you! I know you care.
But here are some of the things I think about.
I wonder: what kind of "provision" did the "fathers" of our country make for those who were to "do the work" when they committed their "fortunes, lives, and sacred honor" to the cause of independence'?
What kind of "definite income" could Churchill offer the English people during the dark years of the early '40's?
Or, since you were in Holland at the time, what kind of "care" could the Underground oiler those who sought to overthrow he Nazi oppressors?
Right now our support is a whole lot "worse" than anyone I know of who is a member of Bethel Church.
-below the bottom edge of what I grew up to expect as "normal "
-far better, I understand, than what 9 out of 10 husbands and fathers around the world can provide their families - no matter how many hours they work. and no matter how diligently they pursue their lacks.
I think of the billions of people around the world who, through no fault of their own, have less than we have. We are adequately supplied.
I think of Jesus who had "no place to lay His head" (Mt. 8:20). and of Paul. who learned to live with little and with much.
(Phil. 4:11 12), and who underwent all kinds of tortures and extreme circumstances (II Oar. 4:gff: II .2311). We are comfortable.
I think of soldiers pressed into service by the demands of their country, men who have no right to question their "salary" or "benefit" packages. OurCommanderhas given us a sworn covenant: to "bless" us (Gen. 12:3: Itch, 6: 13¬1st): to cam for us Mt. 10 29 31, to provide for all our needs (Mt 6:31.33).Whether or not our earthly masters are faithful to their obligations, God will watch out for us and come to our aid.
Just this week I read an effective summary statement of the plight of the Islamic world. From the July/August 1984 issue of World Christian Magazine.
There are more missionaries for the 100,000 Alaskan natives than them are for the 850 million Muslims (of the world)
In North Africa the missionaries are outnumbered two million to one. If the situation in North America were proportionally the same, there would be only 150 full time Christian workers here, and only eight small churches to choose from.
And I wonder: What must we do what shall I do in response to the needs of the world around us?
What am I willing to risk? What will I invest? Is the investment, the risk, worth taking?
The U.S. Center has already shown itself effecttve in responding to the needs of this needy world. It is accomplishing its goals, its objectives.
We have not yet raised an arm) of a million American Christians intent on reaching the world's Hidden Peoples the Muslims and Hindus, Tribals and Chinese.
But we have raised the hopes and visions of tens of thousands of American Christians. We are on the way.
The Center is struggling for its own existence.
We are seeking to help spread the vision that drives it forward. And I am seeking to help the center acquire the financial base it needs to be a self-sustaining ministry.