As missionaries, we depend on those who send us and support us.
John Ryland wrote of this relationship in his book “The Work of Faith: the Labour of Love, and the Patience of Hope, Illustrated in the Life and Death of the Rev. Andrew Fuller, Late Pastor of the Baptist Church of Kettering, and the Secretary to the Baptist Missionary Society from its Commencement, in 1792” (what a mouthful!):
“Our undertaking to India really appeared to me, on its commencement, to be somewhat like a few men, who were deliberating about the importance of penetrating into a deep mine, which had never before been explored, we had no one to guide us; and while we were thus deliberating, Carey, as it were, said “Well, I will go down, if you will hold the rope.” But before he went down… he, as it seemed to me, took an oath from each of us, at the mouth of the pit, to this effect —that “while we lived, we should never let go of the rope.”
In one of my (Elna’s) favourite sermons of all time, our shepherd and friend Joel James clearly laid out the responsibilities of those who go, and those who send. (You can download “Keep your eyes on the map” here). We have been diligently working on our preparations to go. And while we have been doing that, God has been preparing a long line of faithful brothers and sisters to hold the rope.
In my previous post, I shared about our trip to California and the time we got to spend with two church families there. After that we were home just long enough to unpack, wash and repack…
Two weekends ago, we joined one of our supporting churches, Northwest Community Church, at their family camp in Prescott. We had a lot of fun hiking, canoeing, playing gaga ball, and zip-lining (only Calista was brave enough!). The highlight for us, was all the wonderful conversations we had. We were so encouraged by how everyone made an effort to get to know us and to understand the work we will be doing.
Then we headed East to Fort Worth in Texas to spend time with Countryside Bible Church. We were showered with love. Although our time there was pretty short it was very blessed. We left encouraged, and well fed spiritually – we got to attend the main service and an adult
Sunday school in the morning, and the kids enjoyed Awana in the evening while we attended church again. On top of that we had meals with several families, who are all eager to help in any way they can to ensure the people of the Finisterre Mountains hear the gospel.
With the addition of these churches and some individual rope-holders we have now reached 100% of our monthly support! Praise the Lord, He is our Provider! We cannot be more thankful for the privilege of going to Papua New Guinea, and for our partnership with so many believers.