You may have noticed that almost all of Wycliffe’s members are not salaried, but funded by individuals and churches who support them. Raising support can start out as a real challenge, only to turn into a faith-building adventure as God provides, often from unexpected sources. Churches and Christian friends all have the opportunity to be part of this adventure with God, either by going themselves, or by supporting someone who is!
In the West, we have an historic understanding of this pattern of support. But it’s another story for our colleagues from other parts of the world. They have the same needs, but face the additional challenge that the church there is more used to receiving missionaries than sending them.
‘This month is a very important one for twelve of our Nigerian colleagues working with SIL Nigeria – 15% of the group’s staff. They are “Nigerian Missionary Staff” (NMS). That means they are seeking to be supported by their local churches and individuals just as we are from the West. Ultimately this is the only way to sustainability for the language development, translation and Scripture engagement work. However, the idea of local church support for missionaries is a fairly new concept here and these colleagues have not been finding it easy.
So, starting today (Monday 4th May) and during the whole of this month a specific course has been arranged to help them with this – to provide ideas, tools, help with making contacts with possible supporters and so on to encourage them along. They will not be doing their normal work but will be able to concentrate wholly from Mondays to Fridays on this activity. Coaches are available to work with them and support them and each one has at least one designated prayer supporter behind them. From mid-June to mid-September they will be putting into practice what they have learned with the goal of raising their support. ‘
- that the training course will be very useful and faith will rise as a result.
- for local churches to gain a full understanding of the importance of their support of ‘national missionaries’, whether financial and prayer support or in other more practical ways.
- that God will abundantly provide for the twelve who are taking this step of faith.
Read ‘the elephant in the room’ and discover the challenges Wycliffe members face in raising their support.