Living life as a missionary in Ghana may have been God’s plan for our lives long before we even began considering it. He revealed a snippet of it to us in August of 2004 when He placed it on Dana’s heart to take a short-term mission trip to Ghana. And shortly after she obeyed I too sensed that I needed to go on that same trip. So in 2005 together with a team of five others we visited Ghana for 15 days. It changed our lives.
Fast forward to June of 2010. WorldVenture appointed us as missionaries to Ghana, West Africa. Upon our appointment we learned further details of what would be expected of us and what we would need to do to shift from appointee status to full-time missionary status. By far the most daunting information, at least as far as I was concerned, was the amount of financial help we would need in order to move to, live in, and do ministry in Ghana. When we were told of the amount of finances we would be responsible to raise, I nearly fell out of my chair. It was twice the amount I had anticipated! But, we understood WorldVenture’s goal is not simply to get missionaries to their field of service but to also, and more importantly, keep them there. As they explained the costs associated with doing life overseas the amount of finances we were responsible to raise became clearer. They further clarified, based on statistics, how many people and churches we would need to share our story with to raise the amount of finances we needed. I want to be very clear on this point. At that moment both Dana and I realized that raising the required amount of finances could never be accomplished without trusting God to fully supply what we needed. We did not have relationships with the quantity of people nor churches we were statistically required to share with. If raising this amount of finances was left up to us we might as well have quit right then and there. It simply wasn’t going to happen.
And so, in faith, we began the journey of meeting with people, sharing our story, and asking them to pray about partnering with us. At the beginning, for a variety of reasons, we were somewhat prevented from communicating with everyone we wished to tell. Yet even with those barriers the Lord connected us to people we didn’t know or didn’t know well who partnered with us. After a long period of time the barriers were removed and we openly shared with anyone willing to meet with us. And we watched, in awe, as our percentage of completion of this task grew with every step of faith. God provided, in His perfect timing.
The initial journey of partner development is coming to a close as we prepare to depart for Ghana on June 18th. But we know that our responsibility of telling people what God is doing and inviting them to partner in it will be an on-going ministry for as long as we serve the Lord as full-time missionaries.
In our power it didn’t seem possible to achieve the fully funded level. But here we are, by God’s grace, in God’s timing, through God’s provision, and not by our power but by His. Praise Him! All honor and glory is due Him. Praise Him!