A Missionary’s Finances, Figures and Faith

“…taking precaution so that no one will discredit us 
in our administration of this generous gift; 
for we have regard for what is honorable, 
not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.” 
 2 Corinthians 8:20,21
We consider your support of us as a generous gift. We want to be good stewards of that gift and of our lives here as you enable us to be a part of sharing God’s word in Mozambique.
As missionaries, our daily lives can become routine and unfocused just like anyone else’s life. We are no different than Mr. & Mrs. Christian in America nor should we be considered any different. Mr. & Mrs. Christian should desire for God’s gospel to go forth just as that is our desire as missionaries. While our areas to share in are different, our desire should be the same. The difference between Mr. & Mrs. Christian and us is that they do not have monthly supporters that are in many cases sacrificing in order to be able to give to us. We don’t take that knowledge lightly and may we never take it for granted. We want to be accountable, first of all in the sight of the Lord and then to our supporters for our finances, figures and faith.
As for our finances, we keep a daily log of our expenses. At the end of three months we send those logs to our Pastor, our mission’s co-coordinator at our sending church and to a family member. No one asked us to do this. We did this on our own initiative. If they have any issues with our expenses then we trust that they will share them with us. As of yet no questions have been raised. We also make this offer to our supporters. You are free to view our expenses at any time. While our ministry takes place in Mozambique, we LIVE DAILY in South Africa. We have rent. We have to fill the bakkie with gas, change the oil, eat and clothe ourselves just like life in the states. Though because it is not “our money” we are much more considerate in the things we buy.
To keep in the theme of words starting with “F”, sorry…it’s the writer in me; we would like to address the issue of figures. Figures, not in the realm of finances but in other areas, such as how we spend our time. Mr. & Mrs. Christian generally will have jobs. They spend 8 hours a day working at a job. They come home to eat and spend time with their family. How do we spend our time when we are not on the field? Well, for Doug that is pretty easy since he has started seminary. Most of his time is spent studying and completing assignments. In between, he will help work on a mission vehicle or some other mission project that needs to be done. He also prepares for the lessons being taught to the men in Mozambique during leadership training. As for me, this has been a constant struggle in my mind for I feel that I’m not doing enough ministry to earn your support. Currently, that seems to be changing. Next month, I will be able to go in to Mozambique and teach the women. So there will be lessons to prepare for in that regard. I have also begun teaching the teenage girls on Sunday mornings at our church and will soon be teaching a Precept class on 1 Peter for the women of CBC.  So a lot of my time now is in God’s word and preparing for teachings plus keeping the clothing room updated and whatever other mission projects may come along.
In our newsletters we often give you the number of those who attended. While that figure is informative, it shouldn’t be the basis of whether our work, the work of the mission or any other missionary is successful or not. It is the Lord that provides any increase. Mr. & Mrs. Christian shouldn’t care about the numbers of people being reached; they should just be committed to spreading His word to the glory of God. We are about making disciples not easy-believism converts. This takes one on one and/or group to group teaching. It requires time and building into their lives on a consistent basis.
Being accountable in our faith is not something that can be shown on paper. You can’t see our hearts. You don’t know if we are faithfully reading our bible and praying which is a basic assumption of a Christian and a missionary. Mr. & Mrs. Christian need to have relationships to hold them accountable just as we do to bible study, prayer and church attendance or they may grow weary. While we may be in God’s word studying and preparing as missionaries, it’s not the same as devoted time alone with Him. If your missionary work is among a team of believers then they can help in that accountability or also from other relationships that a missionary has hopefully established.
Hudson Taylor, missionary to China, wrote: “Let us see that we keep God before our eyes; that we walk in His ways and seek to please and glorify Him in everything, great and small. Depend upon it, God’s work, done in God’s way, will never lack God’s supplies.”
Praising God for His supply through our supporters. 

May we keep Him ever before our eyes. 


5 thoughts on “A Missionary’s Finances, Figures and Faith”

  1. There is so little accountability in the lives of many that it is refreshing to read this post. This is truly integrity and I know those who support you financially appreciate your honesty.
    Thank you for sharing on Spiritual Sundays.

  2. I love seeing your heart for your work, for accountability, for doing things to God's glory. Even though we aren't officially missionaries, we should be similarly accountable for what God has given us.
    I was thinking that with your calmer times, God can use it to prepare you for busier times: getting used to the culture, learning language, etc. If you notice, Moses and Paul both had stretches of time that were barely mentioned, and then periods of high visibility and fruitfulness.
    I like also that you emphasize that your ministry is not about numbers. This can be hard for American Christians to get; I went to five churches here before it was emphasized to me that the Christian is not accountable for how many come to know Him, but for what their witness is; that if you read the parable of the sower, he plants a seed, goes to sleep and has no idea how that seed germinates, because it's not his responsibility to make it grow; it's God's part.
    And then that about faith not being something you can show on paper. I read a book, Working the Angles by Eugene Peterson (I like most but not all of his writings); it is a perceptive book about pastors and how they need to do three things well: study the scriptures (partly for sermons), pray, and work among their people. The more they add otherwise the more it weakens their work. And the weird thing is that these three things can go unattended and no one else might know. Though, I contend that after a while it shows in the person's attitude and there will be various evidences in everything they do. Not just pastors, but all of God's people need to be continually abiding to bear any fruit in their lives. Thank you for your writing! I want to keep track of what you're doing.

  3. What a great post! We do as missionaries live normal lives and I appreciate how you shared this. And I admire your transparency with your finances.

    blessings to you,

  4. Hey guys…love the accountability blog and I do trust you to make good decisions! People who are missionaries have to live normal, everyday lives and lots of people dont realize it, but we do! God bless and take care of you!

  5. Hi! I'm visiting here through the Thought Provoking Thursday link up. My daughters and I study about missionaries regularly. You have our utmost respect and admiration for the work you do in spreading the gospel! I was most impressed by your method of accountability in the area of your finances. How wonderful! We will be praying for you as we homeschool today. Blessings!

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