What does your family think about your fundraising?
- Consider you a spiritualized beggar
- Embarrassed and hope you don’t appeal to their friends
- “Okay” with your decision to go into ministry but don’t understand what you do
- Assume you will be poor all your life and that they will have to subsidize you 100% behind you in your choice to go into gift-income ministry
Listen to VJ’s story from Kenya. God has used his faithfulness in fundraising and his faithfulness to honor his father to advance the gospel.
My decision to join ministry with The Navigators was initially welcomed by my dad on the assumption this would be a short-term venture to prepare me for ‘real employment.’ It shocked him when after one year I wasn’t looking for any other job.
That’s when the drama began.
Dad would make impromptu demands for money—even though he has a job with a good salary. When I told him I didn’t have money, he turned angry. He would verbally confront me and dismiss the job I was doing (ministry) demanding that I get a “real job.” After a while I didn’t want to phone home anymore!
He tried using my brother to convince me to either ditch my calling to ministry or do it only during free times from ‘real employment’. This too I declined as I was convinced that God had called me to serve Him wholly as a Christian worker.
I wanted to pursue a course in Pastoral Counseling from St. John’s Nottingham University. The course was timely for my professional development and the deal was good—only USD 600!
Cautiously, I approached Dad to support me. At first he agreed, but when I called to ask if he would honor the pledge, He angrily refuted me, telling me to get a job and pay my bills. This crushed me! I felt useless! I was angry with him and didn’t talk to him for three months.
When we finally started talking, He asked me to give money to my brother whose salary from his ‘real job’ was delayed. Dad was skeptical that I would give anything, but I felt God leading me to give—a much higher amount than my other siblings—USD 50. This surprised him. A week later, He called telling me that I should go on doing what God wanted me to do with my life. God used a USD 50 gift (rather than arguing!) to convince my dad I was truly called to God’s work. Hallelujah!
This was also the time I was preparing for a three-month ministry training trip to the US. I needed USD 3000 which God provided through various giving partners. My dad was surprised that I didn’t ask for money from him. This time round, the ability of God to provide in His own way was not fought.
My brother too asked me for USD 100 which I gave to him, and he told my dad. I later told Dad that God had provided for the USD 600 needed for my Pastoral Counseling course. Now my dad thinks I am very rich!
I have had gospel conversations with Dad. We talked about God and his salvation plan to the wicked man and he seemed to agree with me. The most shocking thing he ever told me is that he wants me to preach in his funeral. My prayer is that I will preach in the funeral of my dad who will have died having a relationship with Jesus.
I thank God that he has used His Providence in my fundraising to make inroads for the light of Christ in my family.
Thank you, VJ!
How about you? Are you generous with your family? The Pharisees felt that since they were in ‘religious work’ they were excused from helping their parents financially. Jesus called them out and said, “…but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say given to God…).’” (Mark 7:11)
My paraphrase: “Gee, Mom and Dad, I would like to help you, but I give all my money and my time to God!”
Jesus did not excuse the Pharisees, and he does not excuse us. Of all people, Gospel-worker ought to be good examples of generosity with families. Like VJ your generosity provides openings for the gospel.