1. Continued maintenance of relationships.
Let’s be honest. Support-raising propels you to still cultivate relationships with that friend from high school; that relative you usually only see once a year; that couple you’ve talked with only a few times at church, but you know they love the country you’re going to.
At times, this may feel false to you: I wouldn’t be pursuing this if there wasn’t money involved.
But you realize this is about more than money–and that the mission is greater than your discomfort. You also realize you’ve gotta persist in asking until the goal is reached.
And that raising support is a chance to love the people in front of you. People you might not have loved if you hadn’t needed to do this.
Now those are benefits, m’kay?
This will happen as you send out your prayer newsletters and visit when you’re on home assignment, too. Sometimes, you’ll want to just not see anyone (and sometimes, you’ll need to listen to that).
But more than that, you’re–
2. Stretching others.
Remember the story of the impoverished woman who was making her last loaf of bread so she and her son could go and die? God chose to sustain that woman through her own generosity.
But you’re affecting those who don’t give, too. As you authentically share how hard it’s been to sell your kids’ bikes or the fear that your spouse will get malaria, your potential team (read: even those who will never join your team) are seeing faith in action.
By living your own faith journey, you’re planting a seed in other hearts: You could totally do this.
Be careful of this; there are pitfalls of living life as an example–not the least of which is to become a Pharisee, who lacks the internal reality he’s intent on conveying externally.
It can be so easy for our focus to slide away from godward worship…to focus on portraying ourselves in the right way.
Yet being an example is also part of ministry life. Paul mentions, “You know what kind of men we proved to be among you” (1 Thessalonians 1:5), and “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:11).
3. See God’s provision in real time.
Before raising support, I worked at a publishing company.
So that I would get a paycheck every month, God needed to move a certain number of books through stores. (When he did not, I was laid off.)
Support raising can make a girl feel like her heart’s in her throat, especially in times of recession.
But in truth, I’m simply watching as God “moves the books”–as he takes care of me.
I gain the benefits of watching him sell some of his cattle on a thousand hills, so to speak.
In that fear–that tangibly felt paycheck, one donation at a time–there’s opportunity instead for greater faith.
4. Greater ownership of your mission.
Like an entrepreneur, having to “sell” your vision and develop stake-holding partners develops in your soul a little of the character it will take for you to persevere overseas.
You’ll be repeating your vision over and over, reminding yourself why this is critical and compelling.
Piece by piece, you’re internalizing your why’s. Your story. The stories that are your “carrot” pulling you overseas.
5. Intentional thankfulness.
Truth: Writing newsletters can feel so discouraging at times. Sometimes we feel significant pressure to create results–or the impression of them–so supporters feel compelled to keep giving.
Sometimes we’d love to write about the harvest…when truth be told, we’re still watching the ground for a single seedling. For any proof at all there’s something alive and growing.
But communicating to ministry partners can compel us to look for what God is doing; what is happening.
Maybe you’ve noticed that the more you’re on Insta, the more you’re on the lookout for Insta-worthy moments.
Writing newsletters has the power to do this: To keep your eyes peeled for God around you.
6. Essential character for the destination.
You’ll encounter myriad chances to encourage others and listen to them and their own stories.
You’ll find yourself increasing in humility.
In godward dependence and trust in his timing rather than your own work (read: the Gospel worked out in your life in a new way).
In grappling with disappointment, inactivity, feelings of isolation.
In your understanding of how one part of the Body of Christ cannot say to the rest, “I don’t need you.”
Because God’s not just about the destination. He’s about the journey.
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