I did it again – I placed a lesser value on something God values highly. When this happens, God usually decides to show off while He expertly reviews His value chart (over and over again).
Here’s how it went down: As we started into the beginning of our Discipleship Training School, we realized quickly that the building needed a lot of work, as well as things like blankets, sinks, and other things people enjoy using. We knew our needs were greater than we thought…
Honest missionary moment: Buddy and I agonize over sending e-mails asking for money. It’s mostly pride, but also trying to stay away from the “send me $4000 and you will discover your wealthy Nigerian ancestry” label. As we sent out an e-mail asking people to consider purchasing an item for the new DTS building, my faith conscience went something like this:
“Lord, You know people don’t give to stuff like this – this is not compelling. You should’ve created a need in the Stop Slavery side of our ministry. People dig that!
I mean, when the opportunity to help a young child enslaved in human traficking of any kind presents itself, who doesn’t want to give their time, money, and spare change in the hope of helping? Right? You’d be a fool not to…who wants to stand before God with that kind of blatant need on their grimy little hands?
But discipleship?..we could talk our way out of that ambiguous need!…providing money for “stuff” that allows for avenues to make Biblical choices – being a part of praying courage for someone who is captured by fear – exhorting and encouraging someone who may or may not grow…well…let’s just say that that line is a lot shorter.
It took about 12 hours for God to begin showing me that discipleship and all that it entails IS compelling and really high on His holy agenda. Our friends and supporters responded with joy and generosity, lifting a burden and allowing us to move full steam ahead with the “hands and feet” part of our discipleship ministry.
It seemed that every day we were informed of another gift toward the DTS renovation. And to top it all off…this week, three former students responded to the discipleship God graciously allowed us to be involved in by giving abundantly to God’s ministry here in Chiang Mai.
This other face of our ministry is less glamorous, but, I would argue, more of what the Bible talks about when it comes to making disciples and sanctifying change that lasts. It hasn’t been easy. We’ve parted ways with folks along the way because of ideological differences that turned into plain ole’ hurt. We’ve drawn lines in the theological sand that others don’t agree with. But, overall, we are reminded that these little disciples (many of whom are now in their mid-20’s!) are our true crown and joy.
We love you all…