Our Financial Need
Fellow workers for the Gospel,
At times like these, there are two passages of Scripture which are a great encouragement to me. In II Kings 6:1-6, the story of Elisha and his band of prophets is recorded. Their lack of financial resources is indicated since the prophets themselves were forced to build a dormitory in which to live, and they did so with borrowed tools. That God’s servants are prone to financial hardship is more clearly illustrated in I Corinthians 4:11, where Paul states, “To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless…” In fact, in the context of this passage, Paul calls himself along with the other apostles, “a spectacle to the world.” It does seem odd that some of the most important men in history are said to be homeless, and poorly clothed. But I guess the Savior, our Lord, warned His followers that life could be like this.
Well, Deb and I are not homeless, and I, for sure, am not going without food. Our clothing is sufficient, but at this time, we do have significant financial need. A combination of decreased support over the last several years, and an increase of financial need in some ministry areas, along with significant medical expenses, has put us into a financially tight spot. As for myself, I have had two surgeries over the last couple years, and am anticipating hip replacement surgery in January. (Believe it or not, aside from my hip, I am in very good health). On top of this, our account at Baptist Mid-Mission is deeply in the red. Between our work funds and our personal support needs, we are $3,000 under our monthly support estimate. To add to this, I suspect that after insurance, we will have a medical bill of between $10,000 and $15,000 for my hip replacement surgery.
We are taking steps to remedy this situation: 1) Once Boston and Beyond is approved as a BMM ministry, Deb and I hope to speak in churches each Sunday, with one of the purposes being to raise financial support. 2) We have cut our expenses to pretty much the bear minimum. 3) We are praying about asking our mission authorities for permission to temporarily work part time, (actually, there are other good reasons to do so, as it gives us ministry opportunities in the community, and even, perhaps, in non-access nations, but enough said.)
You may wonder if we are discouraged or depressed because of our current financial predicament. Let me assure you that we are neither. Rather, we are energized. It is a problem to solve, a hurdle to clear, and when you serve the Sovereign of the universe, who promised to help those who seek to serve Him, these kind of problems are, in a way, exciting. God will help us remove this financial hinderance, just as He has helped us throughout our 40 years of ministry. We believe this situation is from God, and will result in the building-up of His church globally. In the mean time, Deb and I will enjoy the fellowship of our Savior, who had nowhere to lay His head, the prophets who worried about broken, borrowed tools, and the apostles, who at times, lacked funds for food and clothing.
Having said that, at this particular time, we do ask for your help. Will you please pray for us as we navigate these difficult waters? Please ask God to give us wisdom as we keep a tight budget. Pray that we are able to schedule helpful deputation meetings. Pray that these meetings will become committed supporting churches and individuals. Finally, perhaps you would fellowship with our need by helping us financially, either with a one time gift or by committing to regular monthly support. Deb and I are very thankful for our supporters. We never get over the fact that some are willing to give of what they have in order to help us live for the gospel—I guess both the giver and the partaker, together, live the gospel.
I close with a quote from a letter sent to churches, where I hope to speak.
“It is our desire to present Boston and Beyond to your church family for the purposes of raising up prayer warriors, increasing financial support and challenging the church and individuals within the church to become involved in this Great Commission effort. I am now 64 years old. If our Lord grants health, it is our desire to serve until 90 years old, in order to fulfill our divinely given stewardship. To accomplish this, we need partners of like passion, who will surrender to serve with us by diligent consistent prayer, sacrificial financial giving and strategic regional networking.”
We Love you,
Bill & Deb
Praise and Prayer
On December 6, Boston and Beyond a globalized cities initiative was unanimously approved and moved to the agenda of the General Council meeting to be held on March 7-8, 2019. If all goes well, as expected, B&B will then become part of the mission and organization of BMM. I (Bill) have had several excellent opportunities to build relationships and even share the gospel in various coffee shops around East Cambridge.
The International Baptist Church has had several well-attended activities. It appears our little fellowship is becoming effective at ministering to both the community of East Cambridge and also the global community residing in East Cambridge.
Charity Mapes, Andrew Eddy (past interns) and Jean Tsen (currently raising support to serve in Boston) returned to Boston to help with a special ministry project. It was a time of sensing the building of chemistry within our prospective ministry team.
An immigrant family with whom we have been ministering to for three years attended church recently.
There are two families planning on moving to Boston and serving as laypeople in the church.
I (Bill) will have hip replacement surgery on January 16, 2019.
Schedule for Prayer
December 31—In preparation for surgery, Bill will have an impacted infected wisdom tooth removed. When the oral surgeon looked at the x-ray of the tooth, he commented, “I’m will not sugar coat this. You are not going to enjoy this.” Yikes—I hate pain, please pray
January 16—I (Bill) will have hip replacement surgery.
March 7-8—The General Council of Baptist Mid-Missions will discuss the inclusion of Boston and Beyond a globalized cities initiative into the mission and organization of BMM.
Tuesday Mornings—Bible study by GoToMeeting into Shanghai, China
Tuesday Nights—Prayer and Fellowship by means of GoToMeeting with potential team members of Boston and Beyond (every other Tuesday).
Wednesday Mornings—Prayer and fellowship by means of Go To Meeting with disciples who have returned to China. This is being organized by those in China. We are planning on meeting every other week.
Wednesday Lunch—Deb and I meet separately with Pastor Toby and Susan Stevens for prayer and fellowship.
Thursday Mornings—Deb teaches conversational English to Chinese immigrants.
Evenings—Deb and I hope to have small groups into our home around three times a week for dinner and gospel discussions. These dinners will be primarily for not-yet-Christians with whom we have been building relationships.
Saturdays—Deb makes new friends though cooking class
Sundays—Through March 3, we will be attending International Baptist Church in East Cambridge. Starting on March 10, we hope to be in a different church each Sunday for the purposes of enlisting prayer warriors, raising financial support and challenging churches and individuals to become corporately and personally involved in this globalized cities initiative.
The goal of Boston and Beyond a globalized city initiative (B&B) is to obey the Savior by joining Him in the fulfilling of His command to disciple all nations. We believe this is possible for two basic reasons: 1) Jesus has all authority, andHe has promised to help those who surrender to do His will. 2) The Savior has providentially prepared globalized cities, places where the nations can be discipled, both locally and globally.
For more information concerning our monthly support needs, you can go to Bill and Deb’s Website for Supporters and click on the Financial Information tab. Bill 781-962-8247 firstname.lastname@example.org Deb 781-367-6032 email@example.com