Word and deed – both are essential. And the cover photo tells you we are doing both – again! I have this discussion with every mission team. The Word is at the center of ministry and mission. It must be. But declaration must have demonstration! I’ve shared this thought in various ways. And I bring it up here for two reasons. First, to show you what is going on right now in the Dominican Republic. Second, this reminder of declaration-and-demonstration lets you know we practice what we preach.
Word And Deed
Maintaining integrity is part of any good ministry. Why bring that up? In a previous Equipping Together post, I talked about being flexible. We expected certain expenses as we planned for this Covid driven ministry format. As it turns out, some of those expenses were higher than anticipated and others were lower.
And then the need to help feed pastors was brought to our attention. That falls under the heading of demonstrating the Word we declare. Just read James 2:14-16. And I John 3:17 conveys a similar thought. But I John 3:18 gives us a clear summary statement:
Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
That’s what we got to do and many of you made it possible. But there’s more to this story, and you need to know it!
Meeting Needs – Equipping For Life
The Corona virus has had its impact on the Dom. Republic. As in other places, the continued restrictions are interfering with work and people’s abilities to function financially. Almost all the pastors we serve work bi-vocationally. They typically have a another job that actually pays them. Many are unpaid or ‘slightly’ paid for their pastoral work. And you know they are committed to being equipped when they give up paying work to be in an EquipUs pastor training class. I am blessed to be able to know and serve these Kingdom servants.
So it was an easy call to make when I was told some of the pastors were having consistent trouble feeding their families. It was that chance to be flexible!. I told our teaching team that EquipUs could help address this problem. And once again, we had the privilege of demonstrating the symbiotic relationship between Word and deed.
I was glad to make that decision and to send the money. And I’m happy for friends have their physical needs met – to the extent that we could help. But those are not the things that excited me most. As noted, we have this word and deed discussion with every mission team. One reason is to equip them for their ministry when they return home. But that’s not all.
We always have a teaching team. And we usually have a team of folks doing things like education, construction, medical, or water purification. And that work is always communicated to the pastors we are teaching. Why? So they see the necessity of linking Word and deed. Who asked me if we could help feed some pastors in need? Men we’ve invested in for quite some time. And requests like this (and many other things!) let me know they “got it” when they invested their time to be better equipped to serve the Kingdom.
Helping Hands Make It Work
I hope you have been blessed by that message and the pictures. This Equipping Together 2020 is not over. There will be other unexpected things that pop up. I already know a worthy need in Samana. How do we meet those needs? Together. And one of the ways people can help is by shopping. (?!?)
I haven’t done a good job of promoting Amazon Smile. Most of you shop on Amazon. And if you will do that through the Amazon Smile side of Amazon, Amazon contributes a small of portion of purchases to the organization of your choice. The prices don’t go up. But any of us can get the added benefit of seeing our favorite causes supported by something as simple as our online shopping. The Smiles image has a link if you’d like to do your Amazon shopping through Amazon Smiles and designate EquipUs as your preferred organization to support.
Things like this help make sure we have funds on hand to meet unexpected ministry opportunities – just one place where Word and deed meet!
Soli Deo Gloria!
PS – I am not sure when the next post will show up. I’ll be having eye surgery tomorrow. The post op restrictions will be interesting. In the meantime, please remember me in your prayers – and please continue to pray for our Equipping Together 2020.