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“The 5 Must Haves”

The new year, particularly February and March, means that it’s Missions Conference Time for most churches!!! This is such a vital vision time for churches to see what they are a part of globally. This is a great time for your church to better connect and get acquainted with the ministry partners you support and catch up on what’s going on. BUT, this year, don’t just go through the motions of “how’s it going?” type questions, really get down to the nitty gritty with your missionaries. Make this conference the best year yet by digging deeper, being more intentional in connecting and long term-planning with your missionaries.

NO DOUBT, if you take these 5 ways and implement them into your already planned conference you will see greater responses from your church body and from your missionaries. You will see relationships deepen, initiation from your church body, greater care and concern, and a fire only the Holy Spirit can bring.

Please let us know how we can assist you with your upcoming conference. We want to be available to volunteer, teach, train, clean… so your conference is the best!

And check out our new resource page to see what tools your church can use during the conference.

 

6 Areas Missionaries Need Partnership

When talking about “Partnerships” our mind most often turns to some kind of business relationship or a film duo like “Batman & Robin”. It certainly does not go immediately to the relationship between a Church and her Missionaries… but it should.

Both Missionaries and Churches need a  “Partnership” relationship which impacts each in so many areas.

 

Here are the six areas missionaries need partnership and why they are important.

 

  1. Financial and Physical: Missionaries are dependent upon the generosity of supporting churches, but that is often where the “partnership” stops. While funding is a critical part, Missionaries and Churches need the Physical partnership which enables each to experience the positive impacts of the other.
  2. Short Term Journeys: They are an awesome boost for both Missionary and Church. Longer Term Relationships keep the benefits of STJ’s going day after day.
  3. Relationships: Closely related to emotional, they are two basic needs each entity has. Missionaries and churches are inclusive of peoples with feelings, emotions, needs, hurts, joys. It is inherent in all to want to share these with others. Those sitting in pews need the contact a relationship brings with a Missionary in order to share the rich experiences of life.
  4. Emotional: The same is true for the Missionary in the field who often experiences great depression for feeling like they are all alone on the island of service for the Lord. The advent of Social Media has made this aspect of Partnership much more feasible to accomplish.
  5. Intellectually: Consider ways you can regularly pour into your missionaries to sharpen their skills, and increase their resources. Each time your church provides a training for your staff, volunteers or church body think of ways you can get those resources to your missionaries too.
  6. Spiritually: Constant giving can drain us, and missionaries need refilling from a new source. Spiritual encouragement can only take place through communication and connection between believers. In this example, between those in churches and those on a Mission field. The sharing of spiritual and intellectual truth is a great relational need which should be a consideration in every “Partnership” relationship.

 

As you think about “Partnership”, remember the “Partnership” Relationship needed between Churches and Missionaries and these six areas of connection. The impact to each is both needed and can be one of the greatest joys either can experience.

Wayne Dinsbeer

Church Partnerships

Help! I need help asking for help. Part II: How

 

In our last blog we discussed the importance of asking for help. There were many statistics that showed that everyone, regardless of what they do, needs help at certain times in their lives. If they don’t get the help they need, when they need it, then they can get burned out, or do less of a good job and productivity suffers.

Compassion fatigue is another reason why people, especially in the helping field, often give up or want to quit. Compassion fatigue is when you are unable to end suffering. When you feel like there is just too many people in need, and you can’t help them all. This differs from burnout which is when you don’t have the support you need in your work environment and become overwhelmed . Compassion fatigue can come on rather quickly, where burnout may come over time.

This also holds true for missionaries and pastors. They too can feel compassion fatigue and it’s hard to minister.  Not only people within the church, but also those outside of the church, will call the local church asking for help. This can come in many forms, and it doesn’t take long for a pastor to realize that there is a great need, and of course he wants to meet all those needs. The problem is that it is impossible for one person to meet the needs of all. But, often pastors may feel the burden to meet all those needs, and try and do so alone. If you do a google search of pastoral compassion fatigue, you get About 55,400 results (0.44 seconds), that’s a lot of talk about pastors (and missionaries) getting burned out, or fatigued when it comes to serving others.

According to the website  https://www.stress.org/military/for-practitionersleaders/compassion-fatigue/ Charles Figley, a  psychologist, describes it as this when talking to someone who has experienced trauma, and then shares their experience: “We have not been directly exposed to the trauma scene, but we hear the story told with such intensity, or we hear similar stories so often, or we have the gift and curse of extreme empathy and we suffer. We feel the feelings of our clients. We experience their fears. We dream their dreams. Eventually, we lose a certain spark of optimism, humor and hope. We tire. We aren’t sick, but we aren’t ourselves.” This could be an experience for many, but the missionaries working in third world countries that come in contact with disease, poverty, and famine on a regular basis, maybe easily lose “optimism, humor, and hope” and I’d like to add, their reason and purpose for being on the mission field. Even mother Teresa made part of the plan, that her nuns would take 1 year off, every 4-5 years in order to rest.

When you google “what kind of HELP do missionaries need?” here is what you will find, in order:

  1. According to this website, LDS living: (http://www.ldsliving.com/20-Things-Your-Missionary-Will-Want-Before-Hitting-the-Mission-Field/s/76326)

Missionaries need: a new Bible, a new tie, a new bag, a new journal, belt, watch, towels, etc.

 

2.) According to this website, The Gospel Coalition  (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/ways-you-can-support-missionaries/)

 

you can help missionaries by: praying for them, financially supporting them, sending care packages, help them acclimate on their “furloughs”, be helpful and flexible when visiting them overseas, sending people to work along-side long term missionaries-for longer than a short term (1 week-2 week period)

 

   3.) According to this website https://team.org/blog/missionary-care-package/

 

you can help your missionaries through knowing the best things to send in a care package.

 

(note: If interested, you can also check out what Google says about helping your pastor here:

http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/articles/9-ways-to-support-your-pastor.aspx?p=2

http://ministry127.com/christian-living/10-ways-to-help-your-pastor)

 

 This is not bad advice, and I am sure many missionaries would agree they LOVE getting care packages from the States, especially of things they don’t have where they are serving. Missionaries may need supplies as well such as a new Bible, new clothes, new accessories, we know that missionaries need more than that. They wouldn’t be able to accomplish what they did if it wasn’t for us praying for them, financially supporting them, staying in contact with them and providing them with their material needs and wants.

During Hurricane Season the last couple of years, we were hit with a Hurricane twice in one year. When floods have hit your home and you don’t even know where to begin, it’s very difficult to think. It’s a lot easier in moments of stress and even panic, to accept help, even from strangers. When everything you own is laying on your front lawn and you don’t have any idea what to do. That is a time where it’s easier to ask for help. But, why is it that we wait until things become way too big for us to handle before we feel comfortable asking for help? Why is it that we can accept the help from strangers during a traumatic time, but we have a hard time going to friends, and saying I need help with something specific, before it becomes unbearable? God made us for relationship. There is a reason why friends and family are important. We are here to serve and help each other.

I know a missionary woman, living out of the country, who is a friend. She took to social media stating that she needed a very specific feminine product sent to her that she couldn’t get in the country that she was living in. There were two thoughts that came to my mind as I read her post. 1.) Wow, this must have been really hard for her to have to write without feeling a bit embarrassed 2.) Shame on me for not going to her ahead of time and asking her what I can do for her, so that she didn’t have to make something that could have been private, so public.

For missionaries/pastors. How can you ask for help. First, be aware that it’s okay to ask. Sometimes it might feel strange to ask people for something of material value because of how it may be perceived, but people won’t know what you need until you ask. Or, you don’t want to “overstay your welcome” and ask too many times for something, or ask the same person/people over and over for their help.

Moses who learned this important lesson from his father-in-law Jethro, in Exodus 18, was serving as judge at that time. He had people coming to him the Bible says from “morning till evening”. In verses 14-18 it says, “When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?” Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.” Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.”” The story continues with Jethro saying “Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to Him. Teach them His decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. But select capable men from all the people-men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain-and appoint them as officials.” Jethro recognized that the work was too much for Moses. Moses needed to ask for help, and delegate to other trusted men.

How can we help our missionaries from getting burned out? How do we help our missionaries when they are feeling compassion fatigue, to keep on going, to know that they are doing a great job and that we support them? Those who support missionaries need to be ready and willing to help out in any way possible, not just saying “I will pray for you”, but “I will either be there for you, for what you need, or find someone that can”.

If you are a pastor or missionary and you recognize that not only do you need help, but you want some help, you may be wondering, “how do I do that”? “How can I get help? Some reasons why it may be hard to ask for help, is because either you don’t want to let people down, or you don’t know where to go for help.

 

 Here are a few examples of how to get the help you really need:

 

  1. Finding people who are trustworthy and capable, and delegate work to them.

 

  1. Have a core group of diverse friends. Being able to turn to one friend for help in an area where they are most knowledgeable, rather than turning to the same friend or few friends over and over again for each situation you need help with, have a list of friends that you can contact, and be specific who you choose.
  2. When asking for help from a friend, instead of expecting that friend to help you, ask if they have any friends who might be willing to help out. Instead of expecting this person to help, you can see if they can reach out to someone that can.
  3. Be specific with what you need, no one will know how to help unless you share how they can help you.
  4. Material things are important because you need to take care of yourself. It’s okay to ask for them, there are plenty of “givers” out there who would love to organize and send out care packages. Or to give in other ways needed.

 

  1. Have a close friend or a couple of friends that you can trust to talk about things when they get tough. People you can rely on to not only encourage you, but validate you and your feelings.
  2. When feeling burned out, or fatigued reach out to a professional to talk about it. It’s common to feel depressed or anxious and it’s important to talk to a professional about how to handle those emotions. Usually you are the one that people turn to when feeling down or depressed, but as the old saying goes, you can’t fill a cup from an empty pitcher.

 

Christy Paul, M.Ed, LMHC
 

Are You Living By Faith?

Are You Living By Faith?

Paul writes in the beginning of Romans, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes, the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’”

 When I read that last part I am forced to ask myself two questions. First, do I consider myself righteous? Second, am I living by faith?

To the first question my initial thought is to say yes, I am a righteous person. I go to church, I read my Bible(maybe not as much as I should), the people around me know I’m a Christian. I try to avoid sin as much as I can. I pray and do my best to honor God.

But now, when I ask myself the second question, my whole response to the first is now not so clear. Am I living by faith? In a lot of ways I’d say yes but I know that there are definitely some areas off y life where I struggle to live by faith. Now according to Paul, “The righteous shall live by faith.” So, if I’m not doing the second then I’m not doing the first either.

Some years ago, the Lord wrecked my life with this very question. I was happily trucking along in my job. I was making money and able to take care of the things in my life that needed taking care of. I was able to buy the things I needed and in many cases most of the things I wanted. What I came to realize though is that I wasn’t happy where I was in my life. I was comfortable. My job was actually making me miserable. I had gotten to the point where I dreaded going to work most days but the money, which really wasn’t all that much, gave me the ability to control my circumstances.

Then God drew closer to him. I had reached my “pit of misery” and when I looked around the only thing I saw was God with his arms open saying, “Come to me”. It was literally the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life but I decided to finally give up control of my financial situation and step into the unknown. I honestly didn’t know if God would be there to catch me but I knew he said he would. So I jumped.

The truth is that I gave up a lot that day. The temptations are still there. The uncertainty at times is still there. But God has been there. He has not failed me or forsaken me and I continually pray for the strength and patience to live by faith.

So, do you consider yourself righteous? Are you living by faith? The question you have to ask yourself is, “What in my life am I unwilling give up control and hand over to God?” God’s plan for our lives is much better than our own. Where are you comfortable? If you are comfortable you have no need for God in your life. He doesn’t want comfort. He wants faith.

Bryan Nicholson

Media and Marketing Lead

Thankful for 2017 and Focused on 2018

Happy New Year! As we look back at last year, things were not always easy, but God has been so faithful to us. We want to say a big thank you to all of our supporters, both those who have prayed as well as those who gave financially. This last year has brought some new endeavors for us and we are very excited about them. Please continue to pray for more partnerships and trainings in 2018! Continue to check our website for updates throughout the year.

 

 

I Went, I Served, I Got the T-shirt, NOW WHAT?
What It means to be an ambassador.

I am going to attempt to do something that’s nearly impossible… explain the experience of a Short-Term Journey. If you’ve ever taken a journey with us here at H2T, you know we pray you are “ruined” based on Isaiah’s experience of seeing God, being touched by Him and then surrendering his life. Many people have this same experience, yet it is so difficult to put into words what actually happened to get each of us to this place.
We’ve heard it explained as:
• Seeing God in a new way
• No distractions allow you to focus on God completely
• The Spirit world is real and you see it clearly
• The whole trip you are focusing on God from sun up to sun down
• You get out of your comfort zone
• You let go of control
These are all well and true, but still short of the miraculous life changing, ultimate time and experience that happens when you are on a missions trip.
The life change is so amazing, but what we do after it is as equally important. I love the picture 2 Corinthians paints when describing the “new life in Christ”. Let’s look at the details of what happens in this transition.
• Vs 13 – The disciples are “beside themselves” looking like they are a bit out of their mind as they are so committed to serving Christ.
• Vs 14 – The Love of Christ compels them to serve. They have experienced what Christ did for them and they can’t be silent or just stand around
• Vs 17 – They are no longer the same as they were before, they have been changed into a new person
• Vs 20 – Now they are ambassadors for Christ allowing Christ to plead through them.
As believers we have our “before and after” experience of what Christ does in us that changes us and compels us to live differently, even appearing “strange” to some. This process of salvation can easily be compared to our experience on a Short-Term Journey. (I’m going to try again)
We have this experience where we are exposed to the powerful way God works, not in our understanding of time and space or with our solutions and it works, where we see people who are fully dependent on Christ and yet completely happy with the “nothing” they have and we are so focused on praying each moment of each day to give us what we need to serve that day and share His hope with others that it brings a joy and excitement we’ve never experienced, yet desperately need every day.
My favorite part is verse 20 where they identify themselves as ambassadors. They have identified themselves as ones who will go share Christ’s message of transformation and change on His behalf. Why? because the LOVE OF CHRIST COMPELLS THEM!!!
Unlike Christ, missionaries desperately need their own ambassadors. They need someone who will share what is happened, who will compel others to come visit and get involved, who will help them expand and grow through the resources they have to offer. As ones who have experienced the ministry, who’ve been apart of what’s going on, who can see what the missionary is trying to accomplish and how you can further their work with your help, you are now the ambassadors!
I have a few questions for you:
Church: What do you do to enable and equip your teams to be ambassadors?
Missionary: How are your preparing your teams before they leave?
Traveler: Are you looking for ways during your trip help you be a better ambassador?

H2T calls our ambassadors Missionary Support Teams, and we feel like every missionary needs them in every church. Contact us today to set up your Ambassadors for your missionaries.

Stefanie Nicholson
Founder & Team Lead

CoMission

The Great “CO-MISSION”
In 2016 our Here To There Team was asked by a Costa Rican pastor to come help him find “help” for the ministry he was doing. Upon arrival we discovered he had a very active ministry consisting of Worship Services, Feeding the Homeless in the Community and conducting a service weekly, Conducting Bible Studies at  Men’s and Women’s centers, Visiting the poor and sick as well as feeding people in these neighborhoods, and taking food and Gospel Tracts to street people in downtown San Jose. All this was being done by himself and one elderly lady, even though he pastored a church of a couple hundred members.  Our work was to identify and train members who could help in this ongoing ministry, which we did.
This is an example of the condition of most work being done by Missionaries today. So many are doing the work alone because of a lack of understanding of the “CO-Mission” aspect of this command.
The command of Christ for believers to go into all the world spreading His gospel has long been the accepted  plan for the propagation of His love, forgiveness, and plan for man’s salvation. Most of the time this is seen as an individual order to each believer. While this can be an accepted application, it was given to a group or team of committed and empowered followers.
Just the term itself, “Co-Mission” implies both multiplicity of participants as well as focus in work to be accomplished.
Yet, as we consider the reality of the work of “Missions” today, it is usually anything but “Co” in nature. Most of the time a church sends a check monthly to a missionary and occasionally reads a prayer letter and they call it “Missions”. At the same time a missionary and family are struggling in a foreign culture to do a work to which they have been called while feeling all alone and forgotten. Where is the “Co” in this process?
What is needed is a plan for both to “Partner” with the other for the benefit of all engaged. Missionaries desperately need the physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial assistance available through the supporting churches. Likewise, churches need the empowering impact that comes from members participating in the ongoing “Life & Mission” of a supported missionary. “Partnership” serves the good of both entities in such a huge way.
By the way, a recent check on that work in Costa Rica finds it flourishing with many from the church stepping up to accept the “Co-Mission” work needing to be done. Will you do the same? Step up and accept your call in your local church and see how you can partner with missionaries around the world.
Here To There Ministries works with Missionaries and Churches to train and equip them to discover and benefit from the joys of “Partnerships” between Missionary and Church.
For more information about partnerships please visit our website.

 

Wayne Dinsbeer

Church Partnership Lead

 

Help! I need help asking for help.
Part I: Why

Often we know we need help, but it’s so hard to ask for it, and then once we’ve suffered the consequences, we wished we would have gotten help when we needed it. This three part blog series discusses the WHY, HOW and WHERE to get help. This first blog shows us WHY we need help and the consequences for not reaching out when we should.

Help! It’s something we all need in times of our life. We know it, we experience it, often we are the first to want to help others. But, why is it that when it comes time for us to need help, even when we are most desperate, it’s so hard to ask? Is it because we are afraid of rejection? That if we ask, and no one comes to our rescue, then we feel even worse? Is it that we are prideful? We want everyone to think that we have it all together and we don’t really need the help? Is it that we aren’t sure who to ask, maybe we feel judged, that if we ask for help, we come across as not good enough?

This last one may hold true in our jobs. We may not want to admit to our bosses that we don’t know how to do something. “After all, the expectation when they hired me, was for me to do my job. If I go to my boss and tell him that I don’t know what I am doing, or I need help, then could I get fired?” But without help, we can get burned out. Burn out can cause us to miss a lot of time at work. According to The Balance: Top 10 Reasons for Getting Fired, number 9 is “Taking too much time off”. Number 6 is “Poor Performance”. Both of these reasons are most likely due to burn-out, which could easily be remedied by simply asking for help.

Kronos is a company that provides workforce and human capital management. They, along with Future Workplace, an executive development firm did a survey. Charlie DeWitt, vice president for business development at Kronos, said based on this survey, “Employee burnout has reached epidemic proportions,”

Some statistics, from the American Institute of Stress website and NIOSH (National Institution for Occupational Safety and Health), regarding stress in the workplace include, 40% of workers stating their job is extremely stressful, 25% say their job is their number one stressor, 29% feel extremely stressed at work, 26% admitted feeling burned out or stressed at work. This job stress is causing health, financial and family problems. 80% say they feel stress on their job and nearly half state they need help managing stress, 42% say that their coworkers need help with the same. 14% stated they felt like “striking a coworker”, 25% feel like screaming or shouting, 10% are afraid of a coworker becoming violent, 9% state there has or is assault/violence at their work, and 18% had experienced some type of “threat or verbal intimidation”.

As you can see from the statistics people are getting overwhelmed, burned out, and it’s even leading to violence. They have reported that either THEY or a COWORKER needs help.

Any work, can be stressful regardless of what type. Including Ministry.

In regards to MISSIONARIES and the church, there is not much difference in stress levels and how it’s managed than any other occupation. In comparison here are some statistics with reference to stress in ministry:

These statics relating to missionaries and pastors are astounding. 5,000 US missionaries leave the field due to depression, marriage and family difficulties, conflict with team members and nationals, and lack of spiritual and emotional support. When these missionaries leave the field its costs about $250,000-$400,000 to replace them due their leaving for unresolved personal, family and relationship problems. How can they lead the world for Christ when it’s leadership has 70% of them admitting to not having a close friend they can rely on, ask for help, or talk too? How can they reach the world for Christ when 45% of them are burned out, experiencing depression, and leaving the ministry? What about the 40% that are in conflict with their parishioners? And the 80% of seminary students that leave full-time ministry within 5 years? If they aren’t being taught to ask for help, how to ask for help, and where to get the help, how can the ministry for Christ grow?

The truth is, Missionaries, and Pastors need help at times as well. But also have the fear of asking for it. They have the same fears and reasons as anyone else. They want to appear as though they know what they are doing, they don’t want to put other’s out, and they are afraid that they may look weak. The thought process may be “ I am the one that is supposed to be helping others, not the other way around”. “How can I help someone with their struggles and needs, if I am asking for help with my own struggles and needs?” That’s simple. When you are on an airplane, and they give the instructions for safety. They do not say, go around the plain and make sure everyone has their oxygen masks on, and THEN if you have enough breath left in you, put an oxygen mask on yourself. NO! Why? Because if you did that you would be the first one to die, and would not be able to help others. They ask you to put the oxygen mask on YOURSELF first, so that you can breath and be alive, in order to help others. Basically, we need to take care of ourselves, we need to be able to ask for help, when needed, if we are going to have enough oxygen to help those around us. But, for some in the helping profession, especially those in ministry, they have it the other way around.

Moses learned this important lesson from his father-in-law Jethro, in Exodus 18. Moses was serving as judge at that time, and he had people coming to him the Bible says from “morning till evening”. In verses 14-18 it says, “When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?” Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.” Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.””

This is the first blog in a series of 3. In this Blog we discussed WHY we need help, and what the consequences are for not reaching out for help, in our time of need. The next two will discuss the HOW and WHERE to get help.

CALL TO ACTION:

Think about areas in your life where you need help?
WHY aren’t you getting help? Is it because of one of the reasons listed in the Blog? Or for another reason?
What is holding you back from asking for help?
If you’ve tried asking for help, and you felt rejected, then please try again with someone else.

If you would like to speak to one of our team members, including Christy, please contact H2T for HELP

Here to There Ministries:
here2there.org@gmail.com

Christy Paul, M.Ed, LMHC

 

Sources:

1.) The balance: https://www.thebalance.com/top-reasons-for-getting-fired-2060732
2.) Employee burnout survey: https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/employee-relations/pages/employee-burnout.aspx
3.) American Institute of Stress website: https://www.stress.org/workplace-stress/
4.) Statistics According to Focus on the Family and Narramore Christian Foundation:
http://www.alongsidecares.net/what-we-do/the-need/statistics

YOU MUST GO

The mission trip is certainly not a new concept in the church today. However, I feel like it has, in large part, lost its luster so to speak. We talk about it occasionally; we hear from others that have gone talk about their experiences for a few minutes from time to time; our pastor may mention it here and there but it seems that very few churches place any sort of emphasis or need for people to go on mission trips. We like to think of a myriad of excuses for why we can’t go. The biggest one I hear is that it costs too much money. Of all the other excuses this is the one that bothers me the most. We talk about it as if it’s up to us to make it happen. But where’s the faith? If you think god wants you to go on a trip do you think he won’t also provide the way to get there? If we really believe that everything in the world is already his then certainly he can provide the amount necessary to “go to all nations”?

As Christians, we need to be seeking God and looking for where He wants us to serve. We should also be looking for opportunities to serve over seas. David Platt, in his book Radical, challenges his readers to spend a couple of weeks outside of America. His reasoning is for the perspective that being in another culture can provide. I wholeheartedly agree with this. Not only for the culture but also because I believe that we are much more likely to experience God’s presence on a mission trip. In my experience, I don’t need God very much here in the USA. Let’s face it, even amongst the poorest of us, our needs are met. But, when you step off that plane and enter another country, another culture, another world nothing feels normal. It is in that instance that you are vulnerable and that is precisely when we give God the most availability into our lives. I think about Peter stepping out of the boat; Joshua marching around Jericho; David facing Goliath with a sling; or Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego and the furnace. They all did something that seems patently ridiculous all because they believed in the power of God. Did they know how it was going to end? No, but they knew choosing God was better than choosing their fears.

In my first mission trip my wife and I went with a small group of people to Myanmar to train pastors and church leaders. We were going to be there for two weeks and I wasn’t all that comfortable speaking in front of groups really to begin with but felt like God wanted me to go. A few days into the trip, on Thursday, the leader said he needed someone to speak at a church on Sunday and he looked straight at me and asked if I would do it. I must have looked like a deer in headlights for a moment trying to figure out what was going on. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking but I said yes, looking back it may have been the Holy Spirit talking instead of me. So, here I am giving me first sermon ever, in a different country through a translator, and I was scared out of my mind. And that’s the point, when you get out of your comfort zone, you will have no other option than to choose God. And he will not disappoint you.

Short Term Journeys are a great way to get people excited about missions, the church, and God. When you go you will get connected with people on a whole new level. You will get new friends and family that live all over the world. Suddenly, missions won’t feel like a distant thing others do. When you hear about what is happening in the places you’ve been you’ll actually feel what they’re experiencing because you have first hand knowledge of the people and the place. It’s great for the church because you’ll come back different and excited about what God is doing. The experiences that you learn as you go will change the way you see the world and can impact how you serve here at home.

So, now what? Go see where your church is serving and find out if/how you can get involved. Pray that God will show you where he wants you to go. Think about different countries or people groups that you might feel a certain affection for. If that’s the case, find out if there are any groups that you could get together with already in those areas. Remember, the harvest is great but the laborers are few. If you ask God to send you, you can be sure he won’t say no.

Bryan Nicholson

Media and Marketing Lead

 

What Could be?

 

 

What Could Be?
Becoming Missionaries your churches want to partner with
Objective: Partnership Missionary support
“Nehemiah 2:17 – Let us build together…”

Think back to the moment you knew God was asking you to be a full-time missionary. The excitement and the thrill of this new adventure captivated every thought and breath you had. You were focused and driven to do whatever it took to “get there” and start serving. Depending on the route you took you had hoops to jump through, not to mention the financial support you got to raise. In your eagerness to begin this new journey you possibly overlooked the what could be.
The what could be is the massive window of opportunity you are creating when you begin something new. You are the new front runner for this country, these people, this epidemic…because you are willing to focus all of your efforts to reaching these people. The what could be is the endless dreams that are created because you stepped out and obeyed God’s leading. For missionaries, your what could be is greatly increased by your partnership with your supporting churches.
So, let’s back up – to the ASK. In our eagerness to get to the field and get the job done we typically only ask for money (and prayer support) so we can quickly get to the field and go do. We didn’t know we could ask for more – we didn’t know we should ask for more. We pass up the what could be with our churches by not asking them for more.
When we ask for more than just money we are blowing the doors wide open to what could be.
Because you are answering the call and inviting these churches (with pews filled with resources and skills) to join you, your vision just quadrupled and you just gave an open invitation of possibilities (what could be) to the church. You now have others joining you as you move closer to reaching this major vision, you now have help to define this vision, you have people who will help you carry out this vision and the possibility of what could be just became endless.
The initial vision God gave you may very well be the starting point, and you are simply the catalyst to mobilize your church. Allowing the church to partner with you along this journey brings other vision casting people to the table – expanding your vision, and not limiting it to what only you are capable of.
Churches, if you are reading this, you need to look at your missionaries and ministry partners with a ‘what could be´ filter. What could we, as a church, do now that we have a missionary in Venezuela? What could we do now that we have a teacher serving in Eastern Asia? What could we, as a church, do now that we have an engineer in Iran?
Part of the what could be mindset it taking ownership of these opportunities. It is no longer US (the church) and THEM (the missionary), but it is a WE. What are WE going to do TOGETHER?

Missionaries, if you want to know how to ask your churches for more, please allow H2T to walk you through the process. Churches, if you would like to start looking at what could be with your existing missionaries, we would like to help you today. Contact us today to see what could be.

Stefanie Nicholson

Founder and Director of Here2There Ministries