What a Sad Story

I just saw this news from Mission Network News: 69 missionary candidates were completely ready to go into the mission field but were told there was no money to support them. Here is the complete article. Each of the candidates had resigned their jobs, sold their homes, and were/are ready to go. They were going with the International Mission Board, the mission board of the Southern Baptist Convention, which pays for all aspects of a missionary’s ministry overseas.

I find this to be an incredibly sad story, not because the IMB is saying they can’t send the missionaries. It isn’t even because they have sold everything and are ready to go. In fact, that last bit makes me glad. What makes me sad is that the IMB has told them they can’t go because of a $29 million dollar shortfall in the missions offering this year.

Why does that make me sad?

First, it doesn’t take $29 million dollars to send 69 missionaries. In fact, the total offering was $141 million, and the $29 million dollar “shortfall” was based only on a goal of $170 million. I’m not sure how $141 million isn’t enough to support the 5,600 missionaries currently on the payroll plus these 69, but someone decided it wasn’t.

Second, the IMB is not the only way to get into the mission field. Youth With A Mission sends thousands of missionaries every year, often for pennies on the dollar compared to other missions organizations. Furthermore, YWAM missionaries don’t get paid a penny from YWAM; instead, they all raise their own support to do what they do. And, many of them aren’t as free as these IMB candidates are (in the sense of being debt free). I’d love to see each of those 69 candidates go through YWAM or another missions agency that is just ready and waiting to train and send them. I pray they haven’t lost hope in their call. God always provides enough to do the things He asks of us.

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