When the home church of a missionary takes its multi-faceted commitment to that missionary seriously, God is glorified and the missionary is blessed. Julie Rumph, an SSMFI missionary serving in South Africa shares her thankfulness for her home church, Faith Promise church, in Knoxville, TN.
A thank you letter to my home church….
The longer I’m here the more I realize what a blessing it is to be sent by Faith Promise and if you bear with me I’ll tell you why.
I loved attending church there.
I loved serving there.
It was this community where I learned to be a grown up Christian.
What giving really means, both in money and in time–no false prosperity gospel there.
Where I learned to be a part of the body means to serve the body and all the blessings that come with it.
Where I made friends that will last for a lifetime, some of them more family than friends.
Where I learned it’s ok to not be perfect as long as I continue to follow after the One who is perfect.
Where I learned to follow and study even outside the church walls, something that came and went (mostly went) in my walk before.
And for all this my church is not perfect either.
It is a community of humans, lead by humans, who need salvation and grace as much as I do…and I suspect you do too. They don’t hide this, nor do they apologize for it.
If we were that good, we wouldn’t need Christ would we?
But why am I so thankful to be sent by this group of humans?
Because, it’s a group of humans who know how to care about people.
Before I moved here, when the thought of doing this–being here, sent shivers down my spiritual spine, people patiently walked the journey with me.
They taught through my friendships, my small groups, and from the stage each Sunday that the place for the answers is in the Bible, in prayer, and in fellow believers who’ve been there before.
They knew that the journey would take tools and they provided them to me.
They sent me to a place to learn things I didn’t know I didn’t know so that my road would be smoother and my ministry better.
They took the time to pray with, cry with, and rejoice with me along the way.
They reach out to me now as one of the body who just happens to live a world away.
They check in.
When the word gets out that the road is bumpy at present, they send word that they are ALL praying.
And it’s not the organization, it’s the people of the body that do this.
So as I sit through another iCampus, I’m so thankful that I can still be a part of that body, not because it’s THE body, but because it’s MY body.
Lead by and filled with fellow humans who just happen to know how to care for those they’ve sent so well.
So from the bottom of my heart I say thank you to everyone who is Faith Promise for all that you do, most you probably don’t even realize.
It means so much to those serving far from home.
I wish everyone like me had a body like you behind them.