The Matthew 6 Dare – Part 7

Wouldn’t these have been better if we had catchy titles instead of “Part 1456”?  Something funny, witty and deeply insightful?  The “Matthew 6 Dare” itself is kind of cool, right?  I won’t mention that it was the first thing that came to mind and we didn’t feel like working any harder on coming up with something even better.  Scratch that.  The “Matthew 6 Dare” is very cool and sounds like the title to a book that millions of people would buy!

And don’t worry, we’re almost done!  Your courage in sticking with these for an entire week is commendable!  As always, here are each of the previous parts if you just stumbled across this story today.  And if you did, welcome!


September 24, 2012

Michelle and I had a pretty emotional time of trying to understand why this month has been so different than we expected it to be.  The lessons we thought we were to learn haven’t seemed to be the ones we are being taught.  And we started to key on how open we have (or haven’t) been with those around us with our needs.

Which is a really tough question.  As mentioned before, each time we have been open we have been provided for but we really wanted to stay closed except before God and let Him go.  Blah, blah, blah avoiding being a leach or burden… I don’t want to type this all again.

Today Michelle let me know another lady was going to bring some groceries by after she was done work.  This makes two since we put that one word on our bible study’s prayer list: “groceries”.  Of course, people are asking questions as to why we haven’t said anything to this point.  One of the other reasons as to why we haven’t told many people what we’ve been going through this month is our nature to be quiet since “no one really wants to hear us complain about our poverty again”.  It really is a thing that we and many other missionaries deal with.  “Oh boy, the missionaries are asking for money again.”

So I challenged Michelle to try and be more open today, if the questions are being asked.  She agreed that this is most likely a “thing” that we are being challenged on.  So as one of ladies picked her up this morning and took her to HEB for groceries, the lady thanked Michelle for being open and allowing our class to actually grow closer together.  One of the major dysfunctions of a church, or any Christian community is their inability (or perhaps lack of desire) to care for each other.  And by being open we had given our group a chance to come closer together and be more of the family that we were supposed to be.

I guess I can accept that this may have been something that God was trying to do in this situation as well!

September 26, 2012

A couple days ago we received some groceries from a friend from church.  I forgot to mention that another lady dropped by after a trip to Sam’s Club.  Have you ever gotten groceries at Sam’s Club (or Costco)?  I guess a few families in our bible study at church got together to purchase groceries.  And now our kitchen cupboards are not only full, we have stuff stacked on top of ALL of our cupboards!  There was so much that we had to turn around and give some away because there wasn’t a chance we were going eat all that fruit and drink all that milk!

Later that evening another lady stopped by with a card with $100 in it.  The note in the card started the process of confirming what we were starting to see.  Here’s the quick summary of the note:

“Thank you for being open and letting us take care of you like the church in Acts”

And there we have it.  Was this month all about trusting God?  It would seem that it was not 100% about that.  Looks like we also had a mandate of learning about letting others provide for us.  Which means that this lesson is not going to be over when September ends.

I also logged into our donation tracking website for the first time this month.  Honestly, I was half expecting and 75% hoping that there would be some crazy big gift that would allow us to buy a car.  There wasn’t.  But it wasn’t zero.  We also got the report for our Canadian gifts and again, I was hoping for something crazy to happen and it didn’t.  But combined, it looks like October is going to be more like our normal month.  Tight, but enough.  We won’t be putting money away in a savings account and at this exact moment I don’t know how we’ll buy tires for the van, but I guess that will happen later.

I heard an interesting quote yesterday at a conference:

“God doesn’t command us to save.  He commands us to give.”

One Reply to “The Matthew 6 Dare – Part 7”

  1. Ryan, your transparency in these posts has been so awesome. I am humbled by your great faith and your commitment to ministry. I think you have learned the lesson God wanted to teach you this month. What do we mean when we say, “God will provide?” Is it that he will send the ravens to bring us bread and meat? Or rather that he will give us the means to acquire all that we need? I think it’s the latter. And sometimes that might mean manna from heaven, but most often it means that we exercise our own abilities to provide for ourselves.

    For me, that means I have to get up every morning and go to work to earn my paycheck. But you and Michelle are in full time missions. So for you it means fundraising to support the work you are doing. I really liked what your friend Tony Archibold said in response to your post yesterday, “There is no shame at getting good at fund raising in the line of work we are in. The better funded you are the more you can focus doing the work GOD has called you to do.”

    Now there is another level to “God will provide.” Sometimes our best efforts aren’t enough. In God’s plan, that’s when we as Christians are called to care for those in need. I know you were wrestling this past month with the question of whether asking friends for help indicates a lack of faith in God’s provision. I really don’t think so. In such times your friends ARE your provision. When they see you being responsible and frugal with the money you are given and diligently doing the work God has called you to they are not going to resent helping you. You ARE frugal and you ARE diligent, and I think what you and Michelle are doing is awesome. You are an example to the rest of us.

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