Thursday, January 3, 2013

To you, our incredible supporters:

For these past years that my wife and I have served overseas, we have been generously supported by some of the greatest people in the world.  Perhaps you are one of them.  This blog post goes out to you, because honestly, we think that you are incredible.  You might not think that you do much, but we see it differently.  From our perspective, this is what you are doing when you’re supporting us financially and/or in prayer:

You are keeping the movement of long-term workers alive.  Short-term trips are the craze: anybody can go, and then come back home.  The value is that lives can be impacted, but short-term work will never replace what long-termers do.  Long-termers know the language and culture, and they experience the suffering of the people they work with.  There is no better way to earn validity and bring influence and change than to live with people.  Thank you for supporting us so that we can be long-term workers.

You are caring for people that you will never meet, believing that they too are people worth helping.  Not a lot of visitors come to where we work, because we live in a remote, insecure place.  Some people find it hard to invest in work for a people that they cannot meet, but not you.  The people that are helped because you support us will probably never be able to thank you.  Thank you for supporting us so that we can help people that feel trapped in an isolated, insecure place. 

You are combating the attitude of fear and anger with a love for your enemies, and hope like a mustard seed.  The country we work in is viewed by many as a lost cause because of the many aspects of governance and security that are still out of control.  Some would not send a penny in this direction for fear that it might lend something to their enemies.  Not you; you are with us in believing that expressing God’s love is our best defense and our best weapon.  You believe with us that it is possible for the Kingdom of God to be revealed here.  You live in hope with us that the leaders we work with and the seeds we plant and water will change this country.

You are sensitively listening to and following God, who has impressed upon your heart not the evil of this place, but the opportunity.  If all you listened to were the negative news stories, if all you believed was that these people are entirely violent and corrupt, there is no way you could support us.  You have heard that there are souls that hunger after the King.  You have heard that among the mess here, there are lives worth redeeming.  You have heard that, against all odds, there is faith, there are miracles, there is a body, and it is unstoppable.  With your support, you have joined the quiet movement that nurtures the advancement of this unlikely body.

Not all of you, but some of you: you ARE us: much of your life has played out, but given another go ‘round, you would be in our shoes.  In your eyes we are not foolish, childish, or irresponsible, we’re right on the mark.  You somehow hear the same call that we've heard; it resonates with you.  You marvel over God’s work in us, and count that as more valuable than anything a person can do for themselves.  Could you do it over again, you would be here too: serving, praying, sharing hope.   Thank you for your affirmation, and for your unwavering support.

Dear supporters, the above are the reasons that we think you are incredible.  The way you support us blurs the line between “us” here and “you” there.  Our hearts, our souls, and our goals are much closer than our persons.  Thank you is a trite way to end, but what else can we say?  

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