Hey Jack, I'm raising ...

Presley asked:

Hey Jack, I'm raising financial support as I prepare to leave later on this year for Asia. I've longed for a missionary's biography that goes into detail about his/her fundraising adventures - so as to have another companion throughout all of this. Any recommendations?

Jack Answered:

Hi, Presley:

Raising support is an adventure of faith and receiving it is a confirmation of God's call.

Almost any good missionary biography will touch on the matter of finances. However, as I have tried to think of one that would be particularly helpful, I find I am going back to a couple of the "classics."

Have you read a biography of Hudson Taylor? The original, and most significant I would say, is the two volume work written by his son and daughter-in-law. It is particularly relevant since Taylor struggled with the whole issue of financial support. However, you may not like where he ended up! He felt that the Lord led him to depend utterly on Him to the extend of not asking people for donations. He set a pattern for the China Inland Mission (now Overseas Missionary Fellowship) he founded. "The CIM missionaries were offered no set salary but rather were to depend entirely on God for their needs. To avoid even the appearance of relying on human resources, offerings and other forms of direct appeals for money were strictly taboo" (Ruth Tucker. From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya. Zondervan, p. 180).

The CIM grew to have 800 missionaries and Taylor's pattern became almost universal for "faith missions" at one time. Though you may not be led by the Lord to follow his conviction, I'm sure you will be blessed by Taylor's growth in faith and all that he learned by trusting God both in his own personal life and in the leadership of his mission. You may find the old two volume bio in a church library or some retired missionary's library. However, other biographies of him have been written and I'm sure they would deal with his adventure of trusting God. His famous dictum was: "God's work, done in God's way, meet's God's supply."

Another outstanding man of faith in trusting God for funds was George Muller. In fact he and Taylor were friends. Muller at one time supported 4,000 orphans, all by donations, yet never asked anyone for money.

A different approach, but also a helpful one, is William P. Dillon. People Raising. A Practical Guide to Raising Support. (Moody Press, 1993.) Helpful, practical suggestions.

I trust your will be able to find something on either or both of these godly men. May their example encourage your faith in this time of seeking resources.

Let me know how you make out!

Jack

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