Two to threes times a month we receive a financial statement letting us know how much support has been raised that month. It is honestly my favorite email. Not because I know I can pay our bills the next month, or because I am greedy, but because I love seeing how many people God has pulled together to allow us to live, work and minister in Colombia. We have so many wonderful, faithful supporters, who not only see what God is doing, but are willing to financially invest in His work around the world through us.
It is hard to express in words just how awesome it is to live month-to-month relying on the body of Christ to support and carry out the work God has called us to, but here is my feeble attempt to share my gratitude and excitement of this topic.
1. It allows us to partner directly with the community God has given us.
By having friends, family and fellow believers supplying our financial needs, we feel they are just as much a part of God’s ministry as we are. When I get to sit with a high school student and pray for her, I know that there are many other people who are also with us in that time. When we get to lead and love on our students every day- there are many other people also showing love from afar.
At summer school I was able to teach my pre-kinder students about missionaries. They were so excited to learn about people obeying God and serving him. When practiced sentences, they got to say “Mrs. Trussell went to Colombia”. I have no idea what seeds God was planting in their little minds, but how amazing would it be to have one my students be a missionary because of the seeds God, through our financial and prayer partners planted in their heart
2. It helps us understand the body of Christ.
In Romans 12:4-5 it says: Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
We many have the ‘function’ of going and working with Colombian and missionary families, but we both feel that we belong to our supporters and prayer partners through a very practical partnership. We would not be able to do what we do without the generosity of the greater body of Christ.
I remember a year ago at our training- we were in the middle of support raising and a lady came up to us and handed us a check for a large of amount of money. She explained that a long time ago friends of hers were going to Colombia and asked for financial support, and she did not give. Years later, the Lord reminded her of this and decided it was time to make things right by supporting us. It blew me away- her obedience to God and her spontaneous generosity. I felt I belonged to her as part of the same body.
3. It holds us accountable to spending wisely.
In this day and age of the credit card and instant gratification, it is easy to spend more than you make. By us being on financial support, we have an obligation to use wisely the funds God has given us through our supporters. Matthew 25 talks about using what God has given us wisely. It means more than saving and hoarding, but it means making investments in the Kingdom. We are able to live in such a way we can be generous with meals, activities and fellowship- to disciple the students we serve.
4. It deepens our faith in God’s provision.
Psalm 40:4 says “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!” God longs for us to depend on Him for everything. It is so hard to live a life that shows we depend on God to meet our needs- not our own works or skills. By living on faith that God will provide enough financial support to meet our needs, we have to trust him. It grows our faith. It builds our trust in God and diminishes our trust in ourselves.
When starting this support raising process four years ago, I knew it would be a way to knowing what God has put before me. If I was able to raise the support I needed, then God was saying “go” but if it was a struggle, I would know God was saying “do something else”. The very practical “putting out the fleece” was one of my ways of listening to God and knowing if I was obeying Him.
These are just some of the reasons for support raising and each person has a different story and testimony of how God provides for them. I know that God has called us to this life, and we are to be obedient. I also believe that God calls everyone to different places and support raising is not for everyone (if it were, then who would support who?). I thank the Lord regularly for the wonderful body of Christ, and the people who directly take care of us, and are obedient to his word.
Thank you financial supporters.
Thank you prayer partners.
Thank you friends and family.
And most of all, thank you Lord for loving us and dying for us so that we may have a way to live for you.