|Dear family and friends,|
During this holiday season where we take intentional time to focus on the greatest gift ever given – Jesus – our hearts turn to those who are on the front lines taking the message of the Blessed Hope to those who have yet to hear. Our Bible Workers sacrifice greatly to spread the gospel, while living on only $90/month!
One of our JFA staff members who works closely with coordinating and tracking our Bible Workers feels a great burden to support these front-line missionaries.
This message and challenge comes from his heart:
I’m writing to you as a Jesus For Asia (JFA) friend because we have a need that I’d like to talk to you about. My pseudonym is Sam. In the spirit of not blowing a trumpet before giving, I’m not telling you my real name. I’m a retired teacher and part-time volunteer here in the office at JFA (think 37th office boy).
Because I see communication between fields and regions in India and the JFA office, I sometimes see situations where stipends for Bible Workers might have to be reduced because of a shortfall in cash flow. The Bible Workers are not given a big stipend in any event so I hate to have them shorted.
We all know that JFA is a faith-based ministry – everyone understands that, from the 37th office boy to the Supervisors and Bible Workers. Nothing that the Bible Workers in Asia do is done without faith in our mighty God. That obviously includes the stipends that we send to the workers each month. We depend on the Holy Spirit to release funds from the pockets of our donors.
There are three things I’d like to ask you to do to ensure the long-term survival of JFA.Please pray diligently that the Holy Spirit will raise up more (and younger) donors to support the Bible Workers. Without more donors or donations, we can’t keep going indefinitely supporting the Bible Workers we have and any new Bible Workers requested by the field. It is God’s work, and He will bring in the funds as He sees we are using them to His glory.Please help us by personally recruiting younger donors to support the Bible Workers.To alleviate some of the panic in the JFA office, I am proposing to Jon that we keep a contingency fund in the bank to smooth out the “downs” in the giving. What I am proposing is that some of us (maybe 10 families) contribute $10,000 toward that fund. That would make $100,000, enough to take up the occasional slack AND to hire new workers as we get requests. But I don’t want you to deduct that money from your regular giving to JFA—that would not help anything. I want this to be a sacrificial gift from other money.
About now I can hear you saying, why does this guy Sam think I have ten grand sitting around, just because he’s rich?
Well, let me assure you we are not rich. I retired from teaching at Southern Adventist University in 2010. My wife Suzi and I both spent our professional lives working in Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) institutions, including four years in Nigeria and six in Kenya. God has been good to us and the church has treated us well, but we definitely are not rich. We have a small amount saved for retirement, but what we find is that we are not spending those savings for retirement. We thank God that He has protected us against huge expenditures.
Our son recently said, “Dad, we don’t need your money.” And I’m sure that is true. Electrical engineers are not usually living on the edge of poverty.
I believe Jesus is coming soon and it occurs to me that we’re never going to need the retirement money we have in our mutual funds. So, we have decided to start spending that down and get some good out of it while we’re alive to see the good that can be done with it. I have always loved spending someone else’s money, and I am truly enjoying writing donation checks for JFA and other SDA ministries.
So that is my challenge to some of you: match the $10,000 that Suzi and I just gave to Natalie.
Let’s get on with the work of telling the world of Jesus’ love and soon coming. If you don’t feel you can match dollar for dollar, match 50 cents on the dollar or 10 cents. Any amount will help and will be greatly appreciated. And God will bless what you have left.
Thanks for listening to my heart and to the Holy Spirit,
If you would like to join Sam and Suzi in this effort and build the Bible Worker contingency fund, please send a check with “Contingency Fund” in the memo line to:
Jesus for Asia, Inc.
PO Box 1221
Collegedale, TN 37315