Fund Raising for Mission Trip -
Otherwise known as Deputation

Fund raising for mission trip...That is what every missionary begins with if they plan to make a mission trip of any length, and they aren't independently wealthy. Deputation is what this experience is frequently called.

The opportunity to watch the Lord provide miraculously so I could serve Him in Puerto Rico actually began about thirteen weeks before. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education in May of 1979, and about thirteen weeks later I was on the mission field!

It didn't take as long to raise funds for mission work in 1979 as it generally does today, but the average time spent in deputation, or pre-field ministry, as some mission boards call it, was about a year and a half.

So seeing God's miraculous provision actually started before I reached Puerto Rico.

For those of you not familiar with the process, I'll try to give you more details.

Fund Raising for Mission Trip
Travel Yes, Bakesales No!

I had no sooner graduated then I started traveling, and visiting churches to share with them what I would be doing, and ask for their prayer support.

But in thirteen weeks, even if you manage to fill your schedule of services full, you'd be limited to about thirty-nine services. I don't remember exactly how many I actually managed to have, but I don't think it was more than about twenty.

For a single woman of twenty-two, that wasn't bad, but by the end of the summer, if I recall correctly, I only had about $250 dollars pledged in monthly support.

Fund Raising for Mission Trip
Unusual Circumstances

If I had been going to the field under a traditional mission board, they undoubtedly would have refused to let me go, but there were several interesting details about my situation.

To begin with, I wasn't going to Puerto Rico under a board, but under my home church. The church made up a name, Baptist Mission Outreach, which we used the whole time I was out under the church.

It sounded enough like the names of some big boards that many would react with, "Huh, I don't believe I've heard of them", when I told them the name. They always seemed a little embarrassed until I explained I was the only missionary with the board, so they didn't feel bad about it.

Anyway, the pastor of the church, who was also my Dad, and the deacons acted as the mission board for me. In addition the ladies missionary society of the church took care of sending out my prayer letters for the ten years I was in Puerto Rico.

Secondly, I was going as a partially self-supporting missionary. I was planning to teach in the Levittown Christian Academy, associated with the First Baptist Church of Levittown, and they were planning to pay me some money for it, although not nearly enough to live on. But due to that fact, I was needed in Puerto Rico for the opening of the school year.

I had researched how much was needed to live in Puerto Rico, and at that time the medium income was about $800 a month. I figured I ought to be able to live on what the average Puerto Rican could, so we set that as my support level.

Fundraising for Mission Trip
God is Faithful

School started in Puerto Rico on August 13th. By the end of the summer, although I had worked hard on the fund raising for mission trip, I only had about half of my support level raised. But, I wasn't at all worried.

I knew the Lord wanted me in Puerto Rico, and since He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and the wealth in every mine, I didn't think He was going to let me starve.

My Dad and the deacons agreed with me, so they let me go.

I spent ten years in Puerto Rico, and during that time, I never had over half of the amount of support we thought I'd need, actually pledged.

But during that whole time there were only two times the full amount we'd decided I would need, didn't come in!

I should further clarify, the two times I didn't get the full amount, something happened so I didn't need the money anyway.

Fundraising for Mission Trip
Simply Trusting

To this day, over thirty years later, I still get excited when I think about the Lord's provision for my every financial need during those early years of missionary service.

I'm sure everyone would like to watch the Lord provide for them as He did for me, but the problem is, few would like to be in the situation where they were dependent on the Lord to provide for them, as I was.

If we aren't willing to put ourselves in situations where we need the Lord's provision, we'll never have the blessing of seeing Him provide.

All I can tell you is, this fund raising for mission trips taught me He is always faithful, and it is the highest privilege in the world to serve Him, and see Him meet our needs.

We all say we believe these things to be true as Christians, but saying it and experiencing it are two entirely different things. When you experience it, you'll never forget it.

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