Wednesday, April 26, 2006

thoughts on discouragement

So, where do I start. I felt like talking to the blogosphere. There are a few I know who read this and a few surprises. Thing is, I got discouraging news today in the form of a refusal of support from a church I was not only hoping would support my ministry but was believing would do so. This event is nothing new, it's just at a time when I need things to happen fast and deadlines are creaping up on me.
It's not new that a church would turn me down, has happened a number of time. In fact, it's catchy.....
Just got a phone call while writing this, with yet another refusal.Wayside Chapel in San Antonio, has "too many missionaries and too little support". It's a common theme. Churches around America are reconsidering what kind of missionaries that they will support and even cutting off some from their lists. Who am I to come in at a time like that? Popular ministries are doing well, missions to Asia and the 1040 window as well as any other form of muslim ministry that doesn't fit in the 1040.
Can I just say I'm discouraged. I don't want to doubt God or displease Him. I want to have faith but.....what is faith? What is the difference between believing something will happen and being foolish? Then, when we have doubts, do we kill the whole thing because we're doubting? I understand that just believing something will happen does not mean that God has to make it so. But how do I know when to trust and believe and when something?
Why does God make it so hard for missionaries to go? Why is money such a stupid big deal? When I decided to do this, I certainly wasn't thinking of what a great salary I'd get. I wanted to work with Youthbuilders. That's it. I wanted to be involved in short term missions with teens. Money, "support" has become the work. I hate this. And who am I to complain? Missionaries do this and have been doing this for ages! Even Jesus had to have the support of others. A few women travelled with him and the disciples for three years and supported them out of their own means. I shouldn't feel like a beggar, like a lazy person. I've talked to the missionaries in the short term office and they certainly work hard, and I know that hard work is ahead of me. But is that it? Work harder?
I have been reading a recommended book called "God's Smuggler" about a young man who smuggled Bibles into communist lands, and the amazing stories of living by faith. One story was how they got a CAKE in time for a tea that they promised students who would come to an evangelism rally. CAKE! Like, how in the world did those guys know that God would honor such a request! How did they know that what they were doing was in His will. They just promised a tea knowing they had no money, and then waited for God to supply their needs for it. Come on! Cake is certainly not a need. They did give away as easily as they were given it, but does that mean that God is not providing because I'm not giving enough? How much should I DO, before I "please" Him enough? I know that's not it either. I know that Jesus isn't all about doing things to please Him. It's about knowing and talking and being with Him. So what is the answer? What IS living by faith?
To anyone who has made it this far, I feel better just talking....well typing...but I have a request for prayer. Prayer that I'll be fully supported by the deadline of May 25 ( I have to give the mission the notice by then in order to receive any salary for June). And prayer that God would be pleased to teach me what all of this is about and give me hope as well as new ideas of who to ask and whom to go for support. I'm all dried up.