As many of you know we are HUGE APPLE FANS! I just read an article about Apple selling 40 million iPhones in its latest quarter. That's amazing! To compound that we have a sluggish economy. It's interesting. I've been told by pastors, friends, by those I admire and by strangers that it's difficult now to raise money for missions. Really? I don't buy that. Here are two reasons I don't believe that statement is true.
Reason 1: We have something better to offer than an iPhone! We really do. An iPhone is a purchase that you have to make every couple of years because it breaks or becomes out of date. But what we are offering is a partnership in seeing souls saved, souls grow closer to Christ and ultimately souls that glorify our Lord. A partnership means you share in the risk and in the rewards. That means this is an eternal investment. While an iPhone depreciates in value, partnering with us appreciates in value.
Consider Matthew 6:19-21 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
When you you buy an iPhone you invest in earthly treasures. I like earthly treasures. I like my iPad, iPhone and Mac Book Pro so I'm not preaching against those things. But here is the nugget: you make a better investment when investing in missions. Jim Elliot said, "No fool is he that gives up what he cannot keep for what he cannot lose."
Reason 2: When someone tells me that raising support is difficult because the economy is tough I think, "I'm not selling something. I'm not depending on people, or pastors or churches for our support and hope that they buy what we have to offer." In fact that's one of the reasons I quit my job and pursued missions. Because I was depending on people and my employment at The Markerboard People to take care of my family. My point is that I depended on the wrong people for my needs. You know who I should have been depending on? That's right. God. You know why? Because he is all powerful. If he wants my family in Portugal tomorrow then we will be and if he wants us in Portugal 10 years from now then we will be. We don't depend on people for our finances. We depend on God.
Isaiah 42:5-7 reads, "Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house."
You see the sovereign God of the universe has called us to Portugal. Not our sending church. Not our supporting churches. So it's God's job to get us to Portugal and our job to be faithful.
While it seems difficult to raise support in this economy it's not when we have an eternally valuable opportunity for believers to partner with us and we have an amazing Lord that provides for us.