Last night (1 December 2016) I treated myself to supper at the café in town. Richard had to go to Québec for a family matter, so I have been left again on my own.
I ordered soup with soy dumplings; interesting taste, but not something I would keep on my Favourite Food list. Whilst eating my soup I overheard two young women (mid-twenties?) discussing the power of the Lord. In Waldheim, that is not unusual. The conversation was loud, emotional, yet 110% positive, something that is also not unusual for Waldheim.
I had a shitty day yesterday, and honestly, the part of the conversation I heard last night made we ANGRY. One of the young girls, after having a massive Jesus moment (the breakdown happen in Laird, but Waldheim MB is her home church), declared she will be going on a worldwide Bible study. Basically, there is a program that lets participants learn about the places of the Bible in real time: Peter wrote a letter to the Corinthians, you can go to Corinth, Greece (it still exists). Jerusalem, Turkey, Ephesus (which, technically, is in Turkey) and the whatnot. Not knowing who this opportunity is through, I found a site offering the same travel experience: Bible Land Tours.
The squeaks of delight from the young lady geared up to go and her friend made me sense something was not right.
Funding for the trip. Yes, that is what I was thinking in the back of my cryptic crossword mind. It brought to mind a pamphlet Richard brought home this past Sunday. One of the locals is going on a mission trip to someplace that is home to some strange people (unbelievers, I think). As per the ritual, it began with an introduction of this young person’s lineage, the moment of blessed realisation, the plan, then ended off with the plea for spiritual and financial help.
The missionaries from Richard’s church all have the drive, but not so much the money. Richard, like this Sunday, refused to even consider giving money to this young man. “Who’s going to help us pay for the brakes on the car? The people at church?” We did not have to answer that. I bring this up every time this subject comes up, but the goodly church folk don’t get it, or don’t care. In fact, when the Missions Conference is held in the Town of Waldheim, Richard does not to go to church on those Sundays, out of pure protestation.
The group this chap is with has a “training” centre in Jamaica: YWAMDP. If you a choice between learning how to steer people to the Lord in a makeshift meeting hall on 20th Street, Saskatoon or a seaside hut in Jamaica, the choice is an easy one, especially when you are twenty. Do not get me wrong, there are young people willing to dispose of their selfishness and replace it with self-fullness through Christ, no doubt.
Not knowing the status or the purpose of this young man’s trip does not change the fact that asking for money in such a way undermines the purpose if the Great Commission:
Mark 6: 7-12
7 And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits. 8 He told them to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick—no food, no traveller’s bag, no money. 9 He allowed them to wear sandals but not to take a change of clothes. 10 “Wherever you go,” he said, “stay in the same house until you leave town. 11 But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” 12 So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God. (Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.)
Oh, you did not know this is part of the plan, did you? I called up the wrong quote. Well, Matthew was not the only one talking about letting it all go to spread the glory of the Lord.
Okay, this is 2016 and a person cannot enter a country willy-nilly and all that. Proper documents are needed, shots are required, language lessons may be necessary, and yes, money is now needed to get anywhere. I understand. A former co-worker quit his job and one Sunday spoke at Richard’s church outlining the monthly needs to keep his mission plan running and the amount of funds needed to support him, his wife and six children. Richard walked out. Though I was still attending church at this time, I did not go because the whole cast of MMFI were there to show support. I would have needed good dope to attend, just to kill the need to tell my former boss to f-off.
But, I digress.
You see, there are just too many missionaries. How many souls does God really need? How many points does a denomination get for each person “saved”? From my experience, letting someone know about God and Jesus through conversation can be enough to light a fire. I know there are groups in out local areas that are mission minded, Richard and I give graciously. You know I am no longer part of the Christian group, but money given from Richard comes from his pocket, money we could use to fix our house and fix our car. Local missionaries don’t seem to respect this.
Sorry young lady, I know you will be putting your plan through the churches in Waldheim and Laird, but guess what, you’re going to have to make due with help from others.