Recently I read a great blog that articulates many of our feelings. From our human, standpoint it doesn’t make sense to work (and work hard) and not receive a fixed, predictable salary. Instead we ask and we ask for a lot. We often feel childish – let me explain. As an adult and being raised with the mindset that ‘you pull yourself up by your bootstraps’, it is humbling and embarrassing to continue to ask others for various helps. At times we feel like children who continually ask for a snack or a drink or a toy, not like responsible adults raising our own children.
Can someone lend us a car? Can someone donate furniture? Can someone purchase a litter box? Will someone print and mail newsletters for us? Will someone help advocate for us? Is it frivolous to ask for candy? Will you reconsider the amount you graciously share with us so we can live? Will you contribute to our car fund?
We often think others must get exhausted from our incessant petitions, because we get tired of asking. It seems that when one petition is answered the next one pops up. I’ll let you in on a secret – missionaries don’t enjoy asking, but we do it. It’s part of our job description, it’s Biblical, it allows others to be part of our team, it’s necessary because the job is much bigger than any one person or family or ten families could do, working overseas strips us of the framework that allows us to be independent – we are interdependent , we have committed our lives to a mission without our own available resources for us to complete it – so we ask you to contribute.
Like it says in the blog, it’s when missionaries quit asking that others should be concerned. There have been times we haven’t asked because we felt it was too big of an ask. That meant we limited God’s reach. Lately we have stopped asking because we have been scared to show our dependence on you and the Lord, ignoring the fact that we can’t do this without you and couldn’t do anything without God. We can’t go it alone – it’s impossible! So we need to ask the impossible and not limit God.
We need to keep asking. If you aren’t a full-time missionary, remember asking isn’t easy. Think about surprising missionaries by asking them first how you can join them. When you know their needs, ask your circle of friends if they will join the missionary in some way. Maybe you can’t help, but you know someone else who can.
His ways aren’t our ways. His ways are upside-down and inside-out from our ways. Being an adult, but feeling like a child is upside-down and inside-out.
My thoughts aren’t your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8-9
Dependence is a hard word to learn. Interdependent, not independent, is what God called us to be. You depend on us. Remember we also depend on you. May God keep us all faithful to our tasks and dependent upon Him.