I wanted to do something a little different this month. Ordinarily, each month we send out an email so that those people who have asked to receive prayer updates can pray for us. Every three months or so, we send out our newsletter. However, since we’re trying to leave in August, I wanted to go ahead and send out a more regular update to everyone and thought I would combine it with our prayer letter.
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. – Psalm 27:14
What does it mean to you to wait? If you’re like me, waiting is probably not your strong suit. John Ortberg, in his excellent book The Life You’ve Always Wanted, talks about the need to “ruthlessly eliminate hurry” from your life. As examples of this, he suggests standing in the longer line at the grocery store, and driving to and from work in the slow lane of traffic. The idea is that in doing these things, we will learn to relax and enjoy the moment, rather than always rushing to get to the next thing. I think that definitely has applicability in terms of waiting on the Lord. The apostle Paul says in 4:12:
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
It’s very difficult to be content when you’re waiting. That has been a big struggle for us this past year and a half. Far from getting easier, it gets continually more difficult. How do we ask our kids to say goodbye to their friends again, not knowing for certain that they won’t wind up going back to school next year? Many of you have asked us when we’re going to leave. A year ago, we answered that question confidently. Today, we generally say it’s up to God. We don’t know when He’ll send us. More and more, we shrug off the possibility of fall back plans, we commit more fully to the mission where God has called us. I keep thinking that it should get easier, the waiting. With enough exposure the rush to get there, the need for action, this painful limbo will somehow stop being so painful.
So how do we end it? There are really only two options. 1) We can quit. We can say, this isn’t working, and walk away. It has happened. Other mission candidates have done it. But absent a change in calling from God, how could we do that? It would be saying no to the Lord. Telling Him that He isn’t in charge, we don’t trust Him, and He isn’t big enough. So that really isn’t an option. That leads us to the other: 2) Committed believers, like you, partner with God through our ministry.
Today, we have 70% of the funding we need to leave for the field. If we can get to 90% we can set a date. Not one we “think” is the right one, the final date. We can buy plane tickets. The difference is $1600 in monthly giving. If we can find people who will partner with us for that money this month, we can make it to Germany in August. There’s probably someone reading this who could do that $1600/mo by themselves. If so, I hope the Lord will move your heart to step up, but for most of us that’s way beyond our means. However, there is strength in numbers. A lot of people will be receiving this letter. If each of you does what you can, we’ll have all that we need! You may be thinking we’re asking for each of you to join our support team at an unreasonable amount. We are not. We are only asking you to do what you can. We have supporters that range from $10/month to over $500/mo. EVERY amount adds up. For those of you who are on our team already, we are SO very appreciative. We would not be here if it weren’t for your generosity.
I’m sure there are those of you, who simply able to give monthly. The truth is we don’t only need monthly donors. We need some outgoing monies to get us through language school, settled in Germany, and to cover moving expenses. Currently, that need is about $50,000. You could make a gift to God’s work in Europe without making a monthly commitment, or you could help us by hosting a fund-raiser. People have done musical concerts, golf tournaments, one group actually held a run they called running their missionaries out of town.
We hope that you will take this moment to pray earnestly about what God wants you to do, how He wants to partner with you in ministry.
We pray His rich blessings on you.
Ted and Brandy Cox
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.