In 2000, I took my first mission trip with Teen Mania to India. Rewind about 6.5 months. I felt SOOO compelled that I had to go on a missions trip that summer (cool story, perhaps for another day). I had a catalog of the trips available through Teen Mania and I had spent about a week trying to get my mom to take a look at it. Finally, the moment had come and we were sitting in the living room and I was a bit nervous.
I showed her a couple of options I was interested in. She looked at me and said, “Janine, we don’t have the money.” I said, “I know, but I feel like I’m supposed to go. Can I go?” She said, with a hint of frustration and unbelief in her voice, “You can go if God provides the money.”
That was all I needed to hear. I got her to sign the parental consent on the application, got my recommendations from people and sent it in. I spent the next month dreaming every night of what it would be like and was elated when I got my acceptance packet. I had from February till May to raise about $3000. God miraculously provided in unexpected ways. My whole family grew during the process and in June, my mom tearfully kissed me goodbye as she sent her little 15 year old off across the world.
God did amazing things that summer. People got saved as we went out and evangelized. Crippled people walked, the blind and deaf were healed. I prayed for a little 6 year old boy who had never walked and after a prodding from the Holy Spirit, I prayed for him a second time and he walked. At that site, people now responded to the call to believe in Jesus.
Fast forward 6 years later. I’m 21, it’s January 2 and I’m sitting in my pastor’s living room telling him I feel called to move to Mexico. He said– Janine, if you feel God is calling you to go, you need to obey Him. He later encouraged me in what were some next steps I needed to take.
The most daunting part of the process for me was raising support. This time it wasn’t a “one-time amount” but monthly support. It was more of a commitment from people. It was a bit awkward for me now.
I remember telling someone that I called it “draising”… because there was no fun in it. It was hard to ask for support, but “unfortunately” it was how I was going to be able to minister in Mexico and follow God where He was calling.
But through the encouragement and sometimes pushing from senior missionaries who had walked the same path, I learned a few things about support:
-You don’t have to feel guilty about support raising.
-Support raising is ultimately the Lord’s responsibility. There are people that He is calling to participate, to join their hearts in the vision. So, really, my responsibility is “vision casting”, not support raising.
-Just because there are manipulative people out there doesn’t mean that support raising is manipulative.
-Support raising means that you can give your time freely.
-If you don’t have enough support, it can really affect you– your health, your longevity as a missionary, your ability to minister, the reputation you show for the Kingdom of God.
In the last post, I talked about a conversation that was going on in Facebook. Here are some more comments from that: