Each month, I receive a list of names of people who have contributed to me as a career missionary or cross-cultural minister over the previous month. As I read over that list, I am overwhelmed and thankful for their faithfulness and consistency to not only give financially, but to pray for me and my family.
Many pastors and individuals do not realize how important their monthly support is for a missionary. Even the smallest amount that is faithfully and consistently given has an impact not just in helping the missionary with everyday needs, but also in providing for ministry needs.
Over the years (35) of missionary service and living in a foreign culture, I have been blessed and am thankful for the monthly donations that have provided for my family and the ministry.
In Africa, Belgium, and Scotland, as well as many other countries, it is not possible for a missionary on a missionary visa to work or earn a secular income. In the USA, many pastors and evangelists are bi-vocational, but for career missionaries living in a foreign country under a missionary visa they are not able to hold a secular job; they are totally dependent upon the financial support from their organization or individual donors and churches.
Some people may feel that a small donation has no value to a missionary family, but I can tell you from my own personal experience, that every donation has value. Not long ago, a 5-year-old girl came to me after a service and gave me $5. I will never forget the pastor’s son who asked his parents if he could take money from his savings to give to us. Each month, there is a lady who faithfully sends us $2, and many others who give anywhere from $5 to $200 each month to help us continue the ministry to which God has called us. God is our source, but He always uses people of faith to meet the needs!
In Luke 21, Jesus said that the woman who had given what looked like a small offering had actually given more than all the others. Even the smallest amount given to grow the Kingdom of God, is noticed by God. As a missionary, I value every gift that is given for our support and for the work of the Kingdom!
Dennis Tanner, Overseer/Scotland
Missionary since 1982
Minister since 1976