When a man is called by God to go to a mission field as is Biblical, the Church will agree to send him. He is prayed for among his peers and there is a vow of support made to him.There is also a Baptist custom to perform deputation which is the process of going from Church to Church, showing the ministry and asking for support.
This custom sometimes takes years before the missionary accumulates enough money to go to the field. It can be very frustrating. We went Church to Church also. Some Churches said they could not afford to take us on.They were truthful. Others said they would take us on but they never sent a check and ignored follow up.
I preached before one large Spanish Church and after I finished the Pastor asked me in front of the congregation if he had told me on what to preach. I said no. He then said to the congregation that I summed up everything they taught for the past two weeks. He said he had more famous men who preached much longer than I but never made such an impact (My secret is I let God do the talking) Anyway, he took up a collection of over $1000 and said to me that they could not take me on right now because their missions were full but he said call me next year and we will take another collection and so on until we can put you on.
All subsequent calls, emails and a letter were unanswered.
There was a Filipino Church where we attended their anniversary. My wife was called to missions in that place with a spiritual, tearful calling. It was beautiful. We attended three such anniversaries. I never asked the Pastor for support but he volunteered to do so. When it was time to go to the Philippines, I saw him and he asked when I was leaving and I told him. He said he would start sending checks. He never did. Calls to him went unanswered.
I knew a Pastor who asked me to pray for his Church and inquire of God why they were losing people. I prayed every morning for a year and a half. Finally God told me two pages of whys! I told him I finally heard from God but I did not want to tell him because he would hate me. He said I had to tell him and he would not hate me. I told him. He hated me to the point where he tried to destroy my mission. He spread stories (of which to this day I do not know what they were) and turned many other Pastors heads from supporting me , even though they did not know me.
There were many more that acted this way. Do not believe for a minute that all Pastors are truthful because they are not. In SoCal, Pastors protect each other even when they know the other is wrong. However Pastors stealing millions from their congregations or ending up in jail is testimony that I speak the truth.
There were some wonderful experiences. One Pastor had just spoke on their bad finances before I was to speak. I spoke and my wife and I agreed not to take a love offering because of their lack. I told the Pastor that and he told me the Holy Spirit told him that I was going to do that but he said he had to give it to me. He said of course we can not take you on because of finances but we do want you to take this gift. Three days later I get a call from the Pastor telling me that a Doctor in Florida called him and said God had impressed upon him to support the Church and he sent a large amount to them. He then said we will gladly take you on. We really believe in your ministry.
Another poor church told me they would like me to come and preach but they could only give a love gift, that their budget was low. After my presentation the Pastor with tears flowing down his face asked the congregation to pledge $5 or more so that they could take me on. These were men who made us feel God working in our lives.
On the other hand, we had a Filipino Pastor who cried after the presentation, told the people this is just how it is in the Philippines and pledged to take us on. After wards, he told others he would not take us on because I was too "pushy". Can you imagine? This man came to America and started a Church among Filipinos with good jobs that could support him while I was going to where they hungered and could not support me and they so badly needed Christ and he thought I was too pushy?
I had a large Church that supported us for $100 per month. That Pastor went to another Church and the new Pastor decided to cut the budget and he dropped us. He said he sent a letter (Which we got just three months later as soon as we called him) but we waited three months without the support as it is embarrassing to ask for it. That Church supported over 150 missionaries and when I asked how he decided to drop me among all of them and why didn't he not just lower the amount for everyone. Seeing that we were probably his poorest recipients, it hurt really bad. He was angry that I even asked that question and threatened to stop my ministry. Yes, he was a "Pastor".
We have another Church that raised us but times got hard and they cut us but they told us about it and they gave us as they were able. I have a deep respect for them. Please pray for that Church to thrive.
BROKEN VOWS I write all this to show you how missionaries have to deal with less then truthful people. They don't usually tell you but ask some missionaries (that aren't sent out by a famous Church) and they will tell you how it really is.
We have this church who said they would support us and they have , for years. They were our largest supporter however, many times I had to email to ask for the support that was late. Now there was no reason for it but not all Churches are attentive to their missionaries or their needs. This month, the money did not come. I emailed, I Face booked and I spoke to someone at the Church who said he would find out but he never got back to me.
This is a $400 per moth loss from a $1000 per month budget!
This was a Church who promised to be faithful. This is a Church that supports many missionaries yet not only did they decide not to send the money that helps to feed our family. They gave no reason why nor did they tell us a thing.
A missionary depends on the support of others. Now I will tell you that it is really God that will supply all our needs but God never sticks His hand through the clouds. He calls others to do His work.
So I am asking. If God touches your heart, will you start supporting this ministry? For almost ten years we have been faithfully ministering to the people of Payatas. We have given updates of our work, not once every three months but every single month.
Just so you know, we were told not to go to the Philippines without $4000 per month support. I then heard a preacher say, "Don't make a dollar amount, set a date". We set a date. With no house in the Philippines, God provided one fully furnished for free. With no money for airfare, God provided one person to give almost $6000 which paid for tickets, shipping books and then some. We had a budget of $550 per month and I needed $250 per month for medication. I cried to God when I saw I was low on meds and I said, " you did not bring me here to kill me so please buy my meds or cure me but I will not take another pill until you tell me." I went one month later to be tested. I was fine. Then the next month. I was still fine. I could speak of miracle after miracle, people being saved, thousands upon thousands hearing the Gospel. Lives changed.
I know my redeemer lives! He will make this all right and deal with those who break vows.
Will you be one who will be used of God?