If you leave our house on a Sunday afternoon and hike for several hours with Pastor Arnold and his disciple, Ben, you'll find yourself high on Mt. Garo. You'll be sweaty and excited. You'll sit down in a shady spot, and Pastor Arnold will start singing with the families that gather with you. You'll realize the amazing connection between God's creation and God's word, as you study the Bible with your Mangyan brothers and sisters. After a while, you might get a little stiff sitting on the ground and you might have to use the restroom. There may be some little red, biting ants, but all of these are just a small inconvenience in comparison to the company that you're keeping! But, you might think to yourself, "Why doesn't someone put in a small bamboo hut and some toilets?"
That's such a great idea! You'll talk to Pastor Arnold. Pastor Arnold will talk with the community leaders and put together some sketches.
Before you know it, people will start digging the footings!
Pastor Arnolod is the man in the blue shirt, taking the picture.
This project will cost about $1000. To give to this project, you can mail a check or give online. Please specify that the contributions are for Tim Swanson and Mt. Garo.
We are God's coworkers. 1 Corinthians 3:9a
Being a missionary is a mindset, not a location. Each Christian has been given talents and gifts, which are designed by God to fit where He places that Christian. We are like puzzle pieces. It is not for us to decide the location, just to serve where we're placed by God.
Missions is a mindset. That way of thinking looks at all of life as an opportunity to be a living light, a walking mirror of Jesus. God has uniquely gifted and place each Christian in a specific life situation, in order to bring His people into their kingdom, the kingdom of Christ.
...Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Philippians 2:15
We look at each other and think, "I could never be that person." Or, "I would never be able to live there and do that!" We see other Christians as more qualified than ourselves or better suited for Christian service. We need to keep in mind that God doesn't use the qualified as much as He qualifies the ones He uses. The best thing that we can do is stop judging ourselves by the ministries and talents of others and focus on the ministry that God has given us. This usually starts by recognizing that we are here to be used by God to bring Christ to those who are living in the darkness that surrounds us. Are you willing to be used? Look around! Your mission is already initiated. You've been deployed... to your family, neighborhood and community!
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Jesus Christ, Creator of the Universe
The urgency remains the same 2000 years into the kingdom. This kingdom has circled the globe and transcends borders and boundaries. The command is still the same, "Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest field." There are no part-time Christians in Jesus' kingdom. Each is in his field. Each breathes the same needed prayer, "Lord, send more workers!"
The Conquering King! "He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. " Colossians 2:15
The world is full of true testimonies of Christ's triumph of sin and darkness in individuals' lives. Christ sets each new citizen of the Kingdom of Light free from death, the Devil, and sin. Importantly, He brings freedom from serving ourselves. Mission-minded people bring Christ's freedom to those who live in spiritual darkness, regardless of the location. This is because, every Christian is a missionary, a good fit for the place where he/she is divinely placed. Mission is a mindset, not a location!
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Gal. 6:10
God's Economy of Blessing
Becoming a missionary puts me in the middle of God’s economy of blessing. We live in the midst of God blessing His children. Each time someone gives a resource through us, we get to see God’s blessing first-hand within the Aninuan community. What we don’t get to see is God blessing the giver. That we view by faith, knowing that the blessing also belongs to the one who gives to God. The giver gets to experience that blessing. We, on the other hand, get to experience the blessing of serving and seeing lives change!
God's Grace: We Get to Give
God’s economy of blessing is based on grace. Outside of Christ, we could never give enough because no one can live up to the just requirements of the law. Inside of Christ, we get to give as much as we want. Receiving from God is as much grace as giving back to God. Both our receiving and our giving are made possible by the undeserved goodness of God toward us.
Ours or God's?
You work your tail off to earn a paycheck… and that is God’s grace. In Christ, you can reflect God through your diligence and talents, resulting in earnings. As you live out Christ’s character in your daily life, you get to invest that money into the community that you live in. God uses that money to bless the people it touches across your community, whether at the grocery store or the tax office. When you give money specifically to God’s mission, you extend the grace of God into a broader community. You get to bless others in far away places, and they get to be part of the blessing.
Conduits for Christ
Whose money is it anyway? God owns all of the resources in the world and He uses you as a sprinkler to distribute those resources over the fields, whether close to home or over the mission field. It is by the grace of God that we get to reflect Christ in how we budget and spend His money. It is such a blessing to provide education, smiles, health care, prayers, teaching, clothing, and empower productivity by simply writing a check. Whether our hand is writing the check or holding a hurting hand, we are all conduits for Christ’s blessings.
Partners in the Blessing
Thank you for being part of the blessing. All of our work as missionaries is volunteer on location in Mindoro, which allows us to give all of our time, expertise and energy away for the cause of Christ. Although, we could tent-make or do business as a mission, the current model opens up 100% of our time for service to the Threads of Hope school, church and community. Thank you for engaging the grace of giving. With you on our team, the conduit of grace flows across the planet into the Philippines. Because of God’s grace through you, we are able to be the hands and feet of Christ on the island of Mindoro.
If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD--and he will repay you! Proverbs 19:17.
We're a family on mission to bring the good news of Jesus to the Philippines.