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We’re missionaries—but we also support missionaries. Here’s why.
September 2020

By Jack and Simcha Gilbert, appointees to Spain—On a recent trip out of state, we stayed with a good friend and supporter. During one of our conversations, this friend mentioned a missionary his family financially supports. 

"Oh, we know them,” Jack said. “We support them, too." 

This surprised our friend. He responded, "I didn't know missionaries supported other missionaries! You're already in missions, so why do you support other missionaries?" 

This is not the first time we have heard this question, so we thought we would share our answer. There are several reasons:

 

It is part of the Great Commission. 

Christians are commanded to make disciples of all nations. This first means sharing the gospel and walking with others in our own community. Yet, we can also take part in seeing God's kingdom spread in places we will never go ourselves when we partner with others who are going. One missionary we support just called us to say that they had finally arrived on the mission field. What a joy it is to have played a part in that!

 

It is a joy to share in the spiritual bounty. 

In 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, Paul writes, "The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."  When we hear news from the missionaries we support of the gospel being shared, churches being planted, and lives being transformed in Christ, we rejoice. Seeing God's kingdom spread is a great return for our investment in missions.

We invest in what we believe in. 

We once heard on the radio of a certain politician who raised over $6 million for his campaign in a little less than 24 hours! How can someone raise so much money, so quickly, for one cause? It's because people believed in that politician's cause, and people invest in what they believe in. We believe in the gospel, and we are investing in that. There are many things we could do with our money, but we take joy in making eternal investments in the lives of others by helping to send faithful messengers of Christ to share the gospel and make disciples. We believe in this so much that we named our youngest daughter Joanna after a woman who helped support Jesus and the disciples (Luke 8:3). 

In the end, we support missionaries for the same reasons that many of you do. We love Jesus, and we want others to know and grow in him. For those of you who support a missionary through prayer and finances, we hope these reasons will encourage you and give you joy. While you are at home living out your faith and sharing the gospel with friends and family, you are also going with your missionary, in a sense, to the ends of the earth. 


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jack and Simcha Gilbert plan to serve as church planters in Spain, partnering with Spanish believers to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

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