By Derek Elles
Last week we discussed the purpose of mission work and found that it is an obligation. This week we will talk about needs and struggles of all missionaries around the world.
What is a Missionary?
According to Merriam Webster: a person undertaking a mission and especially a religious mission. I bring this to attention because most people believe that a missionary leaves their home to live in a foreign country according to a vow of poverty and suffering. This authoritative definition identifies a missionary as a person, of which the definition is a HUMAN, INDIVIDUAL.
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If you take the time to research any occupation such as an engineer, architect, nurse, truck driver, janitor, teacher, etc., the first thing you will notice is that they are each defined as a person or one that engages in or performs a something in particular. So just as the engineer, architect, nurse, truck driver, janitor, teacher, etc., has the basic needs and desires of a person, so does a missionary.
When you look at the person sitting next to, behind, or in front of you, can you tell what their occupation is? Most likely not. However, can you determine what their basic needs and desires may be? Most likely you can since, as a human, they are probably very similar to your own.
Are Missionaries Paid?
Probably the biggest misconception about missionary support is that they all get paid. Unfortunately, they generally do not.
So where do missionaries get their money?
Self-Funded: Support themselves through an inheritance, retirement, pension, or other income.
Denominationally-Funded: Belong to a church which fully funds and supports them. They work in accordance with their denominational mission purpose, but do not have to continually raise support.
Individual & Church Funded: Rely solely upon donations. They must find their own support, taking much time to contact individuals, families, and churches to solicit support in prayer and funding.
Next up vow of poverty and suffering.
Until then, Blessings in Yahweh’s grace, mercy, and peace.