“Be strategic with the kind of ministry you get involved in,” Hannah* said. Hannah was a second year student at my Bible College, and she was speaking about partnership building.
As a first year student with a burden to go to Japan long term, I felt that this advice was relevant and it made an impression on me. Some of us were preparing to become missionaries. Hannah encouraged us to get involved in ministries that would connect us with people who could potentially partner with us in our future mission work. So kids’ ministry, for example, was not strategic.
Yet, as I reflect now, some of my most faithful partners are those I connected with when I was not being particularly strategic. A young worker I taught in Sunday school faithfully prays for all the events I list in my prayer letters and has been supporting my work financially since she became a university student. Another young worker I tutored voluntarily when he was in primary school came twice on short term missions to serve at my church in Japan. A university student I taught in primary school when I was a teacher, is now on my homeside ministry team and is also a financial supporter.
Being strategic is not a bad thing. However, it is also true that we simply do not know how God may raise up people who will partner with us in mission work. He is the Lord of the harvest and he is the one who raises up workers for the harvest field – both those who go and those who send.
If you are thinking of going as a missionary, be assured that God is the one who raises up people to partner with you in his work.
If you are not yet able to go, could you partner with others prayerfully and perhaps also financially in God’s work?
By Hoi-Yan, an OMF missionary