Why do you need Support for Missions work?
One of the most common questions I answer is this: Why do missionaries (and specifically my family) raise support for missions work? Three things often happen when I answer this question:
1) Some people understand a little bit more about the reality of other cultures and churches.
2) I have a great opportunity to give testimony of God’s faithfulness and His calling for our family.
3) People decide to become ministry partners through prayer, serving, connecting or giving financially.
After seeing how God has been glorified through our testimony, we decided to share these five reasons why our family raises support for missions work
1) Support for Missions is Biblical!
I would find myself preaching to the choir if I try to tell you the biblical foundation for the work of missions (click to learn more about global missions). However, our particular case brings to the table a legitimate question: Should we support missionaries from other places? Or this one, even more controversial: Shouldn’t they return to their own countries?
Several mission agencies are facing this question today with different approaches (and it’s a passionate discussion). In my personal opinion, the answer to this question should come from the Bible. So, where in the Bible can we find some light about this? I think a good example to look at is the life of Barnabas.
No one could deny he was a significant part of the beginning of the New Testament’s missions. I will only mention that the first missionary journey of the first missionaries mentioned in the bible included Barnabas! Not born in Antioch, but sent by the church in Antioch with Paul to do missions work. So, yes. I do find a reason in the Bible for American churches to send non-American missionaries. I don’t want to imagine what could have happened if the church in Antioch had decided to disobey God based on their own cultural paradigms. World missions started because they were sensitive to God’s calling of Barnabas. Do you know where Paul and Barnabas went first? Take a seat, you might be surprised…
The first place Barnabas went to, after being called by the Holy Spirit, was his own town, Cyprus. So, yes. I do find in the Bible a reason for American Churches to send non-American missionaries to their own countries. However, I certainly have seen how churches and missionaries abuse their position. It’s not about nationality, it’s about sinful nature. The Bible is full of examples of bad abusive leaders, but my question is this: Is the church going to determine its 21st century missions strategy based on our own cultural paradigms? I pray we will not.
2) We come from the least reached country in the Americas.
Our family comes from the least reached country in the entire western hemisphere, Uruguay. In other words: if you print a world map and fold it in two pieces, you won’t find a country with fewer Christians than our own beloved Uruguay in the left part of your map.
After our theological education at Puebla Bible Seminary, we decided to go back to our own people, just like Barnabas, and we invested 4 years of our lives sharing God’s Word with the Uruguayans in a multi-cultural church planting team. In some countries in Latin America, after a couple years you can establish a church and be supported by that church. The situation in some particular mission fields (like Spain, the 10-40 window and Uruguay) is that the average growth of the church is about 1 person per year. That makes it virtually impossible to fund our ministry from Uruguayan churches.
3) We work to multiply ourselves.
In church-planting we use the illustration of a plant because we know it’s God who builds and makes the churches to grow, but it also takes a lot of effort and dedication from us too. It doesn’t happen by osmosis. God, in His mercy, uses our family to start churches that will have the same responsibility we have. With our help, they will find, develop, equip and release new church planters to the nations. We are to empower and facilitate potential pastors and missionaries and send them to the nations. Asking those projects to fund our ministry would make the whole process much slower and would make the multiplication a harder goal to achieve.
4) We consider ourselves as a “template” of a new missions strategy.
Part of the emphasis on reason #1 of this post is because I want to speak on behalf of what I think is going to be a relevant missions movement in the coming years or decades. I do believe Latin American missionaries are going to play (if they are not already doing so) a significant role in how the church is going to do missions in the future. I’ll share more about how I see God using the Hispanic churches for His glory in a future post.
5) We can’t do it without you!
Ambitious ministry carries along with it great financial needs. Human resources, literature, training materials, technology, music instruments and everything we use to develop these new churches are things we can’t provide by our own.
We could never achieve what God has done through our family without the prayer and financial support of churches and individuals who have partnered with us in the process. In the same God has called our family to leave our own country and preach the Gospel in Latin America, He has called others to sacrificially give to support our ministry. We are all called to the mission work. Some are goers and some are senders.
A seminary professor told me years ago: If your vision can be accomplished without God, then it’s probably not coming from Him. In other words, if we could do what God called us to do in our own strength, then we wouldn’t need each other.
Our vision is certainly not that! God decided to call our family, from one of the smallest countries in Latin America to mobilize the hispanic speakers and send them to the nations. Honoring what this professor told us years ago, we definitely know the vision for our ministry comes from the Lord, because we know we can’t do it without you.
If you want to make a monthly financial pledge to help us get to Mexico, take a look at our missionary page on CTEN’s website. If you’d like to partner in some other way (i.e. prayer, serving, etc), contact us here.