By Paul Chitwood
Executive Director, Kentucky Baptist Convention
I received a letter recently from one of our International Mission Board missionaries who is taking the early retirement offer from the IMB but desires to return to the field. Without support from the IMB, the missionary is hoping to raise his own support from his network of relationships with pastors, associational directors of missions, and laypeople who might donate to his cause. Knowing all of the challenges that accompany “faith-funded” missions work, I felt great sympathy for this dear brother. Instead of remaining on the field, he is taking precious time away from the gospel work in order to raise financial support and will live with the stress of knowing his work is always in jeopardy if the pledges of support aren’t kept.
As much as my heart went out to this faithful brother, the letter also reminded me of my calling and how grateful I am for the churches and pastors who support Great Commission work through the Cooperative Program. Why am I so thankful? Four reasons rise to the top among many. [Read more…]