We didn't get fired! Of course, we didn't expect to. This month we went to ABWE headquarters to have our board interview. This was our first interview with the board besides candidate class back in 2005 and 2007, so we were a little nervous. But the board is so very kind and gracious and everything went very well. We were also up north for the Missionary Enrichment conference. We enjoy seeing our Brazil family and ABWE world family so much. There seemed to be a fight at every meal as to who would hold Anna Claire.
While in Pennsylvania and Virginia (the conference was in Arlington) we were able to see cousins of Sarah and I. My cousin Melanie drove down and I was able to meet her family (she has four kids). Then we stayed at Sarah's cousins Mike and Maria and the two kids that Sarah used to hang out with during some summers, Hannah and Matthew. A big thanks to both for their effort in seeing us!
I am working on a blog for missions. We already have one for our family, but this one is called Trends in Biblical Missions and is intended to open conversation about how we can improve the missions system we now have in the US. I wrote today on Crucial Conversations and how it is easy to take the "sucker's choice" when it comes to having a conversation that is difficult. We like to take the easy way out, but we shouldn't. Pray that this blog can do something for God's glory as sometimes I get discouraged about these little projects I have. If you are interested in being involved in it, please email me.
We opened our accounts today and saw our Outfit and Passage account had doubled! We are now over a third of the way to our one time needed funds for returning to Brazil. These will go mainly towards a car and will also cover passage and moving funds. I checked tickets and found great prices for us for January, but we are looking for people to partner with us financially before we are able to buy tickets. 2 partners at 150/month, 3 partners at 100/month, and 4 partners at 50/month and 4 partners at 25/month should do the trick! Would you pray about being one of these partners? If not a financial partner, the least you can do is come with us! We are still looking for ministry partners for the Brazilian Outback!
This month we head up to Michigan where we will get some family time as well as speak at a friend's (Jeff Selph) youth group. Jeff and I grew up together at Heritage Baptist and it is always neat to continue to serve together! I am also planning on going to Pennsylvania again later in the month for a two day conference for mobilization.
Thanks so much for your continued support of us. God bless you all!
All for HIS glory,
David, Sarah, the energetic runner that sometimes gets car sick and our little roller with a very cute smile.
Friday, July 19, 2013
A recent trend in missions is for missionaries to be sent out of their local church without a board. Very biblical, I like it. I wish sometimes we just had one church that is really behind us pushing hard, investing in our lives. But we don't, and I am in some ways glad. We go through ABWE, the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism. Yesterday we had our board interview in which the board loved and encouraged us. They made us know that they are behind us. I told them that we loved ABWE cause their structure kept us on the field.
You see, a mission board understands missionaries. Churches probably do to some degree, but it is not their specialty. ABWE specializes in training missionaries, taking care of missionaries, mobilizing missionaries, counseling missionaries and networking in missionary resources. When we had way too many bad boat rides and were ready to give up, our administrators told us we were not bad people for feeling that way. They told us they loved us and we were doing a good job. They told us to take breaks when we needed breaks. They loved us so much.
ABWE does not take the place of our home church, it aids our home church. The home church is the sender and the board is the facilitator. When one is sent out of a home church with no board, they do not have the networking resources. ABWE has a structure all set up to help with accountability and support on the field. They are also able to get international health insurance at a group rate. They have developed high quality internationally friendly evangelism and discipleship material. They understand how different cultures work and how to prepare for the life of a missionary.
Before we arrived on the field we were required to attend several training seminars. We were told what to expect. That understanding can save the life of a missionary who will face daunting cultural challenges.
So yes, be a great home church; and sure, support them for 100%. But make sure that you are connected to the resources you need to make your missionary as successful as he can be.