Tuesday, May 28, 2013

No gold, nor silver, nor copper...

In Matthew, Luke and Mark we read of Jesus sending his disciples out to the world.

These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And proclaim as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. 9 Acquire no gold nor silver nor copper for your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, nor two tunics nor sandals nor a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.                                                                                Matthew 10:5-10

In verses 9 and 10 Jesus instructs the disciples to go without making additional preparations for their journey. I believe this instruction serves two purposes. The first purpose is to have the disciples rely completely upon God for their provision. God provides for the disciples through his children - the church. Learning to depend completely on God is essential for all who would be His disciple and providing physical, emotional and financial support to His disciples provides all of us with an opportunity to receive the blessing of spreading the good news of the gospel. I believe the second purpose of this instruction is to get busy now. We can prepare, wait, hope for better timing, etc. but there will likely never be a better time, we probably won't be more prepared and the only thing you are guaranteed to get by waiting is older. When God calls us to go and do something He wants us to go and do it as Elisha did - right now with no looking back.

As I was thinking about Matthew 10 and Luke 10 I started wondering what does it take to "go" when you are a family of six, like the Kellys, and the place you are called to go to is very poor, like Kenya. The first thing to understand is how far it is from Green Bay to Nairobi. There are several different routes you can take when travelling to Nairobi. Most involve flying from the United States to Europe, and from Europe to Nairobi. If you fly from Green Bay to Chicago, on to London then Nairobi the trip is 8226 miles. That is a lot of going!

As a side note, while I was figuring out the total distance from Green Bay to Nairobi, I learned that you can actually drive from England to Kenya. Driving adds about 2000 miles onto the trip but that would be an epic road trip. Something new on my bucket list :)

The Kelly's have budgeted $130,000 in start up costs. This includes their travel costs, the costs of their household goods (appliances, furniture, etc.), costs for a vehicle, security deposits on an apartment, utilities, etc. and everything else you would need if you moved around the world and set up a new home. So, a little math and I realized it costs about $15.80 per mile to send a missionary family of six to Nairobi, Kenya.

We have done a lot of fund raising lately. When I say we, I mean all of us, everyone at Living Hope Church. We have been blessed by the Peder Eide concert, the Great Commission Banquet and the Rummage Sale. The generosity of God's people is amazing. 

Through these three events we have helped the Kellys raise almost 25% of their start up budget. Another way of looking at the funds raised - we have helped raise enough funds to get the Kelly family 2080 miles along there journey. That will get them someplace over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Only 6146 miles to go! 

Now, if we could just find 6146 people who would be willing to donate $15.80 we'd be all set. The only problem is I don't think I know 6146 people. I do know all of you though and between all of us we know way more than 6146 people. If we assume there are about 200 adults at Living Hope Church and those adults all know 30 other adults and those 30 adults also know 30 adults we are three degrees of separation from knowing 180,000 people. So, if we all took the time to share what God is doing through the Kellys with the people we know and we could get them to share with the people they know 180,000 people would hear what God is doing in Africa. If just 3% of the people who heard would choose to get involved in supporting the Kellys by donating $15.80 the Kellys would have all of there start up budget and they won't have to swim the rest of the way to England.

I believe this is what God intended for all evangelists, missionaries and disciples. Some He calls to go and others he calls to provide. We can't all go and we can't provide 100% of the support that is needed. But we can share what God is doing and how the believers we know can be involved. I believe we will be blessed for sharing, they will be blessed for listening and we will all be blessed by being involved with God.

1 comment:

  1. Great way to say it. Just a little from a lot of people makes it so much easier than a lot from a few. As the saying goes "many hands make lite work"