It’s finally happening – I have the opportunity to be a real missionary! Of course, that means the inevitable also has to happen: fund raising.
I hate asking people for money. There’s nothing worse in my mind than going up to a bunch of people who you sort of know – or worse, who your relatives know – and asking them to support you as you go off into parts unknown and earn a whole lot of nothing.
But it has to be done.
And that’s what I’m doing right now. Eventually, this blog will log my adventures (more likely, misadventures) and my thoughts as I serve alongside career missionaries in the American Southwest. But right now I’m in the support raising portion of missions. The part that all missionaries hate.
But really, I can’t do this alone.
Regardless of the strength of the individual missionary (and believe me, I’m not the strongest person to do this!) no one can do it alone. Even tent-making missionaries (those who support themselves through normal jobs while ministering, usually in creative access or closed countries) need a team of prayer support behind them. And the rest of us need financial support too. Ministry isn’t free – and neither is living while working on the field full-time.
But missions isn’t unique in its need for outside support. Anytime you enter a theatre to see a performance, you’ll see the actors on the stage. But what you won’t see (at least if the show is done well) are the dozens of crew members, backstage, in the booth, and in the bays, working feverishly to ensure that nothing goes wrong with the show – the show that they are just as much a part of as the actors. The few actors on stage are just the tip of the iceberg that is the work that has gone into the production. A majority of the work has been done in preparations by costume designers, set designers, builders, lights and sound engineers, prop builders, stage crew, directors, and stage managers.
Missions is no different.
The missionaries are the actors out front, on the stage, working directly with the people. And those who cannot go? Those who provide the financial and prayer support for the missionaries? They are the designers; the stage crew; the ones who make it all possible. Without them, none of it would be happen at all.
And neither role is less important than the other.