Ministry, especially evangelistic work, is always a tough deal. It is not for those with weakness of bones. It is not for those without tears in their eyes or for those with smooth knees. It is for those with courage of spirit and hearts of faith. It is for those who paint a picture in the dark and envision a harvest in a barren land.
As the Psalmist reminds us in Psalms 126:5 & 6 "Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."
Everytime God calls you to do something new, He sure always provides for it. But not without calling you to trust Him every step of the way. Every year and every time since I responded to the Lord's call to global evangelistic work God has always called me to trust Him for the provisions. He has never disappointed. Preparing for Accelerate Conference as well as the Evening of Hope is no exception.
When we launched these efforts six months ago, we had just emerged from one climax season of amazing provisions as we headed to Burundi for the Bujumbura Festival of Hope. A week before departure we needed $ 25,000 to complete the $ 100,000 overall cost for the mission and I had no re-entry visas into the United States. All we held onto was the assurance that God had called us to do the work and come rain or sunshine, we were following through with it.
As we prayed, God gave us assurance that He would do it. Sure enough within a week's time He had provided $ 25,000 for us and had moved heaven and earth to provide for my Green Card within a day of departure. I could re-enter the United States without difficulties once the mission was over.
With a week to go before the Evening of Hope outreach and Accelerate Conference here in Minneapolis March 19th and 20th, we once again stand $ 9,000 short of our budget for the events. Once again I am tempted to be nervous and afraid. Yet deep down I can hear God's call to trust Him with the provisions. I can hear Him say I shouldn't focus on the economic challenges of our times but rather on the God who holds all times and seasons in His hand.
For the last four months we have been working hard to prepare and to reach out to the Northwest Metro community. We have also been working hard to fundraise the modest $ 25,000 budget we assigned for the project. But with just a few days left to go I find myself asking the same question: will the Lord provide the whole amount for these events?
Although I look at my limited list of contacts and the economic circumstances and I am tempted to be afraid, I choose to be bold and to answer with an emphatic "Yes, God will provide." We go forth trembling. We bear precious seed in our hands. We stand the risk of embarrasment. Yet our hearts ache with passion for the King. Our love for Him surpasses all fear.
We are pushed on by the hope of the joy of the harvest. As we still our hearts in the tumultuous millieu, we can hear the Master say, "Trust Me, it will be alright. Your joy will be complete. I AM simply accelerating your faith in Me."
And so, come back tomorrow to see how we are doing on this. Most significantly, come alongside with us next week to the Accelerate Conference and the Evening of Hope and witness first-hand the outworking of God's power and Spirit among His people. As a point of testimony, while I am writing and yet to post this, a friend just pledged to send in $250 toward the efforts. So here we go. Only $ 8,750 left to go :)