Today, our sessions are about recruiting a support team. We look over forms for budgets, financial commitments, and reporting. You may know my vast interest (not) in money and accounts. Good thing W is beside me!
"It's better to give than to receive. God so loved that He gave... We're no more like God when we're giving as He does," our speaker reminds us. "When friends pray for us, they pray for missions and God gives them a Missional hear. It's not begging, selling stuff no one wants, or using friends.
"Have you been assailed by neighborhood children and given them money to get them off our porch? That's not like what God has called us to do. Instead, our friends may invest in God's mission. They - along with those who go - are privileged and blessed in doing God's work. Their blessing and work is equal to ours."
We're reminded of biblical models of blessings, that some receive by participating with those in ministry.
"The widow, on her last meal, never lacked again after supplying God's servant Elijah with provisions. Jesus was supported on his itinerant ministry by women. Paul was only occasionally a tent-maker. He boldly raised support and teams of coworkers."
"Donors want a good return for investing in you," says the missionary, explaining the ethics of funds. "They want to know you are trustworthy, that you are investing your life for something worthwhile - something they believe in. This IS your missionary beginning, not when you go."
After a dreadful supper at a local cafe, W and I decide that we'll stick to campus meals. The beef is so cheap and tasteless that it's hard to finish.
Crash! I take a hard fall. One minute I'm on my way to grab tea at the dining hall, the next my rubber-soled flip-flops catch on a 2" change in the pavement (a careless repair). I'm down on the middle of a broad walk. I'm glad for quality trousers. They don't rip, so my skinned knees, elbows, and palms are my only injuries. Later I wash the blood off my trousers.
In the evening, Rick Johnson (head of Member Care) talks to us about handling conflict and negotiation and mediation. Rick tells us stories that help us understand how important it is to be people of peace and respectful of others.
We fall into bed after catching up with a few things and writing our presentation for tomorrow. What a nice birthday present that will be for W: letting others know what we're doing.