Over 200,000 Missionaries are in the Fields with No Support.
Christian Aid is your best means to help meet their needs.
July 12, 2010
by Bob Finley
Local congregations meeting together to listen to gospel message.
About 35 years ago I was invited to be one of the speakers at a missionary convention being held by a Bible institute in southern India. When I arrived the first thing I noticed was that less than a dozen old cars were parked in the Mission compound. So how many people do you think had come for the convention?
Total attendance was over 20,000.
Most had walked up to 200 miles to get there, although some had paid a few rupees (about 25¢) for rides on buses, trucks, or bullock carts. We met under a temporary brush arbor of palm fronds spread over bamboo poles stuck in the ground. There were no chairs except a few on the speakers platform. Everyone else sat on the grass, and also slept there from midnight until daybreak, when drums began to sound and songs of praise began. Twice a day we were served rice and lentils on banana leaves laid on the grass. We all ate with our fingers. Several ladies boiled these two staples in big iron pots outside.
Over 2000 of those in attendance were native missionaries who had come in from their various fields all over India. They thrilled our hearts with reports of souls being won and churches planted within Hindu and Muslim villages where no Christian had ever gone before. I inquired about how these missionaries were supported, and found that most had no support at all. If people offered them food, they would eat; otherwise they went hungry, often for days at a time. If invited inside, they slept on the floor; if not they slept outside on the ground.
Sam George leading combined worship for village churches.
One young worker named Matthew, who had graduated from that Bible school, asked me to visit his nearby home. It was a one room hut with a thatch roof and dirt floor; no door (just an opening) and no windows. There his lovely wife lived with their two small children. Their home church gave her the equivalent of a dollar a day in rupees for food, soap, and maybe an occasional piece of clothing, or some medicine or other essential need for the children.
Without any promise of financial support, Matthew would be gone out on the mission field hundreds of miles away for up to six months at a time: winning souls, training disciples, and planting churches. He spoke four languages: Tamil, Malayalam, Telegu and English. All American missionaries had long since been put out of India.
Believers gathered for outdoor worship service.
Then and there I purposed to devote the rest of my life toward finding financial support for the many thousands of native missionaries who, like Matthew, are out on the fields of the world with no support at all.
Christian Aid has gathered information on about 4000 indigenous evangelistic missions that deploy a combined total of more than 200,000 native missionaries who still have no cash income. Their work would be much more effective if each one received about $2.00 per day.
We thank God for the many faithful friends and churches who now support the ministries of Christian Aid, making it possible for us to send financial help to over 750 indigenous missions that have more than 80,000 missionaries in service. But another 200,000 missionaries still have no financial support. Please pray about having a part in helping them, and send the best missionary offering you possibly can to Christian Aid.