Mobilizing Latvians to use their gifts for the Lord
By Charles Kelley
Corvallis, OR – Have you ever thought about the word MOBILIZATION? This word represents one of BBI’s original objectives. Simply put, it means helping as many people as possible to get involved on the front line of world missions. For example:
- BBI’s sister church program mobilized American churches.
- BBI’s historical outreach projects, like Hope 99, mobilized all sorts of people to use their gifts to introduce as many as possible to the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Mission Day is a mobilizing event with a different twist. It is designed to encourage and train the next generation of Latvians to give their lives to missions.
Over the years, we have seen many young Latvians begin the process of raising support to become full-time missionaries. They strive to be obedient to God’s leading, yet they are often afraid.
“Many Christians considering full-time missionary service are more fearful of support raising than of being martyred on the mission field.”Betty Barnett, Author, Friend Raising
I get it! Before founding BBI, I was terrified at the idea of having to raise support. However, that didn’t prevent me from seeking out training and mentoring on this essential topic. I read everything I could get my hands on, attended seminars, and had endless conversations with other mission leaders and missionaries on the topic of fund development. But most Latvians don’t have access to the kind of training I was afforded.
So, this year, we decided to dedicate Mission Day to the topic: MISSIONS, MONEY AND ME.
Topics included generosity, communication, best practices, relationships, prayer, and trusting the Lord. We studied examples of giving and receiving in the Old and New Testaments by examining teachings of both Jesus and the Apostle Paul.
We emphasized that fund development begins with their own life-long commitments to personal giving – generously and faithfully.
We discussed the topic of tent-making; it is necessary for many in the Lord’s work to also maintain non-ministry employment.
Next, we addressed fears. I like to call them Giants in the Land – referring to Joshua and Caleb. No one wants to “feel like a beggar” or experience rejection from family, friends, and even churches. Further, support-raising missionaries don’t want to have to compete for the same money as other missionaries, especially when they are friends.
Finally, we studied gratitude. The act of being thankful and expressing it to donors is not optional. In fact, it is God’s will. The Apostle Paul wrote, “In everything give thanks for this is God’s will concerning you.”
I believe that Mission Day 2019 was a productive day of MOBILIZATION.