As we packed up and prepared to leave for Texas, to try it again, we ran into one of my favorite Professors from Christ For the Nations, named Dr. David Kast. He is from South Africa but was a pastor on staff at Charles Blair’s church in Denver. We had lunch together and Jerry and I eagerly shared our great plans with him about how we were going to “help God” and raise our own money for our trip and work in Africa. I will never forget the all-knowing look he gave us that day when he leaned in close, cupped his hands and said, “God really appreciates your help, he really does, but here is how it works: People NEED to give into your ministry. As much as you need to go, people need to give into the work that you are called to do. It is a principle that cannot be overlooked.” I like to tell the churches and partners where we go to share updates that we get to do the fun part, and “go”. Money comes from hard work, sweat and commitment. When people give sacrificially (which is the way most givers give) it represents their very lives through their giving. In the end, we all share in the same reward!
We left that day with a different perspective and realized that perhaps we were going about things the wrong way. We had to humble ourselves and be open to the way God wanted it to happen. Veteran Missionary statesman, Wayne Meyers says, “Some must go, because the call of God compels them to go and they cannot stay behind. Some must help go, since they have the resources means to send help. Lastly, some must let go, of children, of parents and friends who must go.”
It was about that time that we got a phone call from a friend, Dawn Stallings and she wanted to help us get “incorporated” to become a 501c-3, a non-profit organization that would enable people to give into the work and get a tax deduction, an incentive for Americans that is a benefit to those who would rather give to an NGO rather that it all going to “Uncle Sam” for taxes.
We told Dawn that we felt that was a bit premature, since we had our own plans, but our lunch with Dr. Kast came shortly after that phone call and he advised us to go for it as it would be necessary if people were going to help. So, we formed our little board and organization and went from there to Texas. During our time in Texas for a Houston Expo, we started getting letters out to our friends and family about our plans to head for Africa.
We went to see Brother Bill Deerman who is in heaven now. At that time, he was the missions Pastor at Lakewood Church. We told him of our plans and asked for direction. He said, “Africa is a big place and there is a lot you could do.” He went on to advise us to take a trip over to “spy out the land” and serve wherever we could. So we planned a 3 month trip, set our date, and started praying the money in to go!
Now that we are in missions for so many years, we tell people, “Don’t be surprised who will support you and don’t be surprised who won’t.” As we began to plan, things began to fall into place. YWAM needed a group leader to take a group of teens over to the YWAM “Go Festival” in Durban, South Africa. It happened to coincide with our dates, so we accepted the task. When it came time to leave for Africa, we had just enough money to get over there and a little for food and expenses once we arrived. Beyond that, we hoped that people would make good on their commitments to support us while we were away and we set off.