Saturday, July 31, 2010

Why We Left the Mainstream Workforce: Our Side of the Story

(From Matt)

I spent two months interning at Missionary TECH Team before marrying Molly in 2007. I hoped that one day we would return to TECH; in fact, I brought Molly there on a scorching Texas camping trip in late July 2008 because I wanted her to meet the Team and see the office that we might one day serve in, but neither of us knew that God would have us return the following summer until that coming winter when God began changing our hearts radically.

At the beginning of 2009, God made it clear to us that, although we were living very Christian-ized lives, we were lukewarm. We were like the church of Laodicea in Revelation that became very comfortable and self-serving. The Lord shook us up by bringing us to an on-line sermon by Francis Chan of Cornerstone Church called “Lukewarm and Lovin’ It.” God wanted to wake us up and tell us that we needed to be 100% His representative. He was not just an addition to our talents, gifts and personalities... we were supposed to be functioning as an addition to His purposes.

Molly and I began shifting our views of money: no longer was it because of our own accord that we saw our earnings, but because God provided greatly for us. We also began realizing that it is only because of God’s mercy that we have any talents at all. We are nothing on our own.
We did not know that Molly would serve at Missionary TECH Team until a month and a half before we moved. We thought God would provide for us through her teaching in Longview, TX.

We both found confirmation from the Lord and others that He wanted Molly at TECH, so we began trying to raise support, which is usually a year-long process or more for most missionaries. We lived off of our savings for 6 months as we built up financial support. When we reached 50% of our goal in January 2010, we stopped trying to raise support, and we’ve seen God provide for bills that our support would not cover through people sending us special gifts or through the private music lessons Molly has been able to pick up. He is always proving himself generous and faithful.

We are thrilled that God has changed our hearts in regards to wanting to be completely His servants. We do not know how long He wants us to remain faith-supported missionaries. We DO know, however, that we will continue to follow the command to “go into all the world and preach the gospel,” and if the Lord asks us to return to the mainstream workforce, we will do so, knowing it is to serve and bring honor to Him.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What Does it Mean to be Faith-Supported

Recently several people have asked us about our income. I thought I'd explain a little bit for you about how we are paid at Missionary TECH Team and why. I wrote this in our up-coming brochure! If you have anything to add or take out, let me know, because we haven't printed the brochure, yet, but HURRY! :)

We are faith-supported missionaries, which is a confusing concept to many. There are basically two reasons why it is called faith-support.

1) The missionary receiving the support must have faith. The missionary does not receive a set salary by a company as a mainstream worker would, but instead he relies on the Lord, through faith, to provide for his needs. Throughout history, God has often verified His calling to missionaries by prompting others to share what He’s given them with the missionary.

2) The person supporting the missionary financially must have faith. The supporter gives to the missionary for several reasons, but the underlying theme found in supporters is that they have realized their money is fully God’s, and they feel prompted by Him to give to that missionary, above and beyond their typical tithing. This act of giving takes a lot of faith for the giver because he responds due to a prompting in spirit, and because he trusts that the Lord will continue to take care of his needs after the gift has been given.

A Couple Examples of Faith-Support in Scripture

The apostle Paul, though he worked as a tent-maker for part of his ministry, reported in 2 Corinthians 11:8-10 that there were several churches supporting his ministry, one being Macedonia. Mary Magdalene, Susanna and Joanna were three women who were among those that financially supported our Savior’s ministry during His final 3 years on earth. (Luke 8:1-3)

*There is a bit more to being faith-supported, but I wanted to make the concept understandable. Please let me know if I diminished any of the aspect of the subject.

(Thought I'd include the photo from
our literature while I was at it!!!)

Matt's Project: Pixelated Version :)