Saturday, October 19, 2013

     I'm of the opinion that Missionaries ought to be seen as real Christian human beings. By this, I am referring to how we as Pastors may respond to those whom we may disagree with on the foreign field once we take a new Pastorate. I recently heard from a veteran missionary brother serving in a difficult field that if a pastor resigns and moves on that 30% of the new pastors taking over his existing work will either drop or diminish this missionary's personal support, "While still on the field"! This is just not Christian!
      I was a Pastor of a church for twenty years and during that time we had a couple of missionaries we supported go awry. One man we supported monthly failed to say he had been divorced (early in ministry I just assumed every man from Hyles-Anderson had been vetted before being ordained, my bad) and according to the church's position we would not support a divorced man as a church planter. Once I found out I called this missionary and he confirmed that what I heard was correct. I explained that we would continue to support him for a year to allow him time to adjust his budget or raise the loss of funding. The point being we wanted to do what I believe was the "Christian" thing to do. {This man served here in the States}
     Another missionary had to come home from overseas for moral failure. We were sent a letter from his mission board saying he had returned and that support should be stopped. I continued sending a support check with a letter stating the monies should go to his wife for her and the family's needs during this transition in life.  He may have made a wrong decision but the wife and kids did not, so why should they suffer unduly. Again, we as a church sent a monthly support check for a year because we believed it to be the "Christian" thing to do.
     Somewhere along the line I think we have missed the human connection when dealing with missionaries, perhaps they seem less real to us because we see them for such a brief period of time during their deputation scheduling. Whatever the reason may be I think we ought to be very careful about "dropping" some one's support while they are on the field. If at all possible we should wait until they are back on American soil before financial changes are made. Just saying.

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