The life of a missionary is to give. Give to the local people, give to others around them, give to other missionaries, give to their local church, give of their time, give of their finances, give their food & their possessions. Everything we have God asks us to hold with an open hand to bless others around us. We are blessed by God to then use all we have to be a blessing to others. To show God's love & goodness to everyone.
...‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35 NIV
But what happens when God decides that it is now your turn to receive? With your warm fuzzy Christian heart you say "yes, I know a time will come when God for whatever reason will have me on the receiving end." But, being honest (especially in the West because it's my experience) we pray that that day never comes because of the humility of having to ask for personal money, not for your ministry but personal needs. The stress of not really being able to be totally planned, feeling like you are letting others down & causing their schedules to be totally changed due to your lack of planning. You are always in a place where God wants you to be responsible with the money you have, but yet asks you to give out of your lack to show you his miracles, for you & others around.
"Jesus sat near the Temple money box and watched the people put in their
Many rich people gave large sums of money. Then a poor widow
came and put
in two small copper coins, which were only worth a few
Calling his followers to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this
poor widow gave
more than all those rich people. They gave only what
they did not need. This
woman is very poor, but she gave all she had;
she gave all she had to live on.”
Mark 12:41-44 CEV
We all say we want to see & experience God's miracles. However, we say this so easily not even thinking what we are asking for. Miracles come at a high price. Problems are "required", usually big problems, schedule/financial/career/family changes & sometimes total life changes. The crazy awesome thing (grey hair causing, stressing with your wife thing) is that God is faithful to answer our prayers. Even when in that minute we really have no thought what that practically means. We just have this idea that it excites you when you read it in the Bible or when you hear it from missionaries.
Even us missionaries struggle with asking because we know that changes, stressful changes are coming. Although most times look back after a miracle, laughing humbly, forever changed in a good way, have grown closer to God & thankful for what God had to do. Every time knowing that it was God & not anything to do with us. We are just the vehicle for the Holy Spirit to move & change.
The amazing thing that God continues to teach me is that God wants me to pray with him (talk with him) alone, with my wife, with my children, with my family, with my Thai pastor, with my Thai friends, with my friends here & in different countries & with my extended family.
Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well. So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34 CEV
This is very hard to write (humbling), but know I need to. We do not struggle with giving for God & others, but do struggle receiving from God & others.
Please pray for the 1,000's of people in Nepal. Many friends have left here to see their people & to pray with the local Nepali people.