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November 16, 2023

Generosity From The Field

Some days I just cannot help but fret about the expenses for a coming missionary trip. I know, I know. I should not be worrying about money. I know God will provide. But sometimes, most especially after opening my online account and seeing that the missionary giving is low, I then start to have second thoughts. I begin to wonder which missionary trips should I cancel. And on this particular travel to Borneo, I thought about cutting my trip short. And this is when I started to worry. But God, in his mercy, rebuked me through the generous giving of an Asian local church. It did not occur to me that our Lord will provide for my needs through the generous gifts from the field. So, here is the shorter version of this long story.

Last month, I went to Borneo to visit an on-going literacy ministry among displaced children located in a small village in this Asian island. Along the way, my friends from Sabah invited me to speak at their local church’s three-day retreat. I accepted the invitation knowing that I still have plenty of time to do my missionary work of helping the children’s literacy activity. After the church retreat, the leaders of the church gifted me with a generous honorarium. They also paid for my hotel stay and chauffeured me around the local district. In the end, I barely dipped into my missionary account, meaning that I did not spend a lot of the money that I brought from the US. God used the generous donations from the field to provide for my needs.

God really provides for his work. He answers our prayers from unexpected places and at surprising moments in time.

Joy In The Mourning

There is joy and hope for those who mourn. (See, Matthew 5:4). "How can we live this way? Many of us are tempted to be relieved of our pain. We want to flee it at all costs. But when we learn to move through suffering, rather than avoid it, then we greet it differently. We become willing to let it teach us. We even begin to see how God can use it for some larger end. Suffering becomes something other than a nuisance or curse to be evaded at all costs, but a way into deeper fulfillment. Ultimately mourning means facing what wounds us in the presence of One who can heal” (Nouwen. 2001:xix)

(Henri Nouwen. 2001. Turn My Morning Into Dancing: Finding Hope During Hard Time. Edited by Timothy Jones. TN: W Publishing)