I have been a lifelong supporter of Christian foreign missions. When I was very young, one of the guys in our home fellowship went to the Philippines as a missionary with his new wife. I was intrigued with the idea that a person could leave everyone and everything to share Jesus with others. Fred was many years older than I and was like an big brother to us in many ways...he sure knew how to tease us! I made cards and wrote him letters for all those years that they were overseas and still have all the letters that he wrote back. Treasures.
Fred Williamson died last year. I had lost contact with him many years ago, back in the mid 90s. He had been very sick, due largely to the drug-laced past that God had been saved him from as a young man. I didn't find out about his passing until after he was gone. I ran across his daughter and ex-wife on Facebook and reconnected. So many years later, but I cried like a baby.
I was ten years old when I attended my first Missions Conference at Liberty Church back in 1986. There was just something about all those sessions of hearing missionary after missionary share about their work among the masses of the world that set my little heart on fire for missionary work. I opened my heart up to God's calling to sharing the Gospel. I raised my hand and pledged $10 a month to support my first missionary family, the McManuses in Bangladesh a few years later.
In recent years, I have been supporting children in the SEED program out of Arise & Shine Academy in the Philippines. The Student Evangelization Education and Development was birthed from the out-of-the-box missionary work of Dirk and Elizabeth Wood, grads of Liberty Bible School back when I was a kid. My first student to graduate from ASA and then college was Angela. She is an wonderful girl who loves the Lord, helps to lead worship in her church, and is now employed as a nurse after completing college and passing her exams. She used to send me the more adorable handmade cards and crafts, and continues to stay in touch with her "Tita Mary Beth." She is precious!
I want to complete GLOBE's Perspectives class one of these springs. Several of my former students have completed it and mentioned to me that I would love it. Perspectives is a class that emphasized our "world-sized" role in God's global purpose for His Church. The course is focused around 4 loci or perspective points: Biblical, historical, cultural, and strategic. I look forward to taking it one day.
What a blessing it has been to sow into Jesus' Kingdom. I will never know, this side of heaven, who has been won to Christ via my efforts and monetary sacrifices. But it is all nothing, considering I have not given up my life as Jesus did or as some of these missionaries have to serve our Lord. All these seeds will grow and spread like fire. What is done in Christ's name and is grounded in the Gospel will last forever!
So what missionary endeavor do you support right now? What ministry has God asked you to sow into for the furtherance of His Kingdom and the Gospel? The eternal rewards are just that, eternal.
I can think of so many missionaries, both novice and veteran, who need support as finances are stretched across the globe. Several of my friends are embarking on their own journeys as English teachers to share the Good News in a difficult field, a sensitive nation in Southeast Asia. They need support right now, as they are in their fund-raising stage of preparation. Open your heart and wallet to support those that Father places in your path. Contact me on Facebook, and I will be happy to connect you with them! www.facebook.com/marybeebzz