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Part of the job of a missionary is raising support so that we can work on the field. Leon’s job isn’t a paid position, so we have to live by faith asking those we know to partner with us financially. It’s a privilege to do so, really.

This past week Leon and I attended a workshop so that we can better raise support together as a couple. The workshop was taught by someone who is a missionary himself and has come up with an effective way to gain partnership financially. He teaches that it’s not about raising the finances, but about partnering with others to further God’s kingdom. I thought it good that he brought everything back under the purpose of glorifying God. No matter what we do, God will be glorified.
For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,
As the waters cover the sea.
(Habakkuk 2:14, New King James Version)

God’s ultimate goal for all of us is to have His glory known throughout the entire earth. So whether you yourself are a missionary doing ministry on the field or whether you are partnering with a missionary in their ministry, the earth is being filled with the knowledge of God’s glory.

The other thing that really struck me is that God owns everything. He owns the grass on the fields, the birds of the air, the sheep on the mountainside just as much as he owns the house I live in, the food I eat, and the money I spend.

 For every beast of the forest is Mine,
  And the cattle on a thousand hills.
 I know all the birds of the mountains,
 And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
 But who am I, and who are my people,
 That we should be able to offer so willingly as this?
  For all things come from You,
  And of Your own we have given You.
(1 Chronicles 29:14New King James Version)
It was a bit of a revelation for me to be reminded of this. To me, the reminder that God owns it all means that even though it may be uncomfortable to give (whether time, finances, etc), there is enough of it to go around because God owns it; he provides it.
A lot of the workshop focused more on the importance of giving rather than receiving the finances. I have a confession to make. I don’t like to be on the receiving end. I bet there are a number of people in this world who don’t like to be on the receiving end. It is very difficult and sometimes awkward to receive help when I have to rely on God and those around me for help and support. I like to do things on my own, and I take pride in being able to provide for myself. To receive is humbling because it takes admitting I can’t do this on my own.

On the opposite side is the concept of giving. I know the Bible teaches that it is better to give than to receive.

 And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
(Acts 20:35, New King James Version)Truly, it is better to give than to receive. There is more blessing when I give. Having grown up in the church, this is something I think I’ve always known–just not believed enough. I need to give more than those I’m giving to need to receive my gift. It takes a certain mindset to think that it’s not selfish to admit that statement, but if God promises a return, then why not? I’ll take that step of faith and sacrifice one take-away meal a week so I can give. It’s encouraging to look back and see how the Lord provided for my own personal needs when I gave to help others.