I Am Not A Beggar, I Am An Advocate

beggar can“Have we really started fundraising, or have we just sent a few emails?”

That’s the question I’m considering right now, for myself and for our team at Within Reach Global. Most of the time I’m afraid we are not bold enough to share the needs in our personal lives and in the ministry.

A sign of weakness?
What if they say no?
The tricky thoughts can go on forever.

And yet, we are simply conduits of God’s blessing to the nations. For Within Reach Global, we are channels of blessing to the unreached tribes of Southeast Asia.

But sometimes we think we are beggars. We think that every email we send out is a cry for cash, and we are embarrassed by it. Meanwhile, God has strategically placed us in this ministry to be a voice for the voiceless. What? Now we’re afraid to open our mouths?

We need to shout louder than Coca Cola, because Jesus is more important than fizzy pop.
We need to post more than Starbucks, because eternity trumps a caramel frappuccino.

“He who shouts the loudest gets heard,” a friend of mine told me about fundraising. “You have to be bold enough to sell hard, because that’s the way our culture goes.”

I finally snapped out of beggar mentality in 2002.

I was on a 24 hour one-way trip to Wa country on the China/Myanmar border. I had been church planting hard for years among this tribe, and had started to see breakthrough. After a couple of days sharing our lives and the gospel, my L5S1 disc shifted, and my back went out. I could not stand. Some young men scooped me up into the back of a handheld tractor, and began the 14 kilometer decent toward the hospital. A tiny Wa granny held me in her lap and stroked my head as I bumped over the excruciating dirt road.

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I saw the moon, pale and grey.
I saw the silhouettes of roadside bamboo.
I saw the care in granny’s eyes, looking down at me like I was a baby.

Then, in my weakness, it struck me.

The former headhunting Wa tribe—one of the sweetest people groups I know—were lost without remedy.

Their lostness was stifling.
The fields were white for harvest, but there were not enough harvesters.
And no one had a voice to tell the world.

In my weakness it struck me. I was a voice for the voiceless.
I could be the pioneer missionary,
the church planter,
the fundraiser,
the connecter,
the one who fills the gap.

After being knocked out by drugs on the China/Myanmar border for a few days, my back felt better. But I was never able to thank that granny. I can’t recall her features. I never found her again.

But I can say “thank you” to my Wa granny through my advocacy.
I can raise awareness of the lostness of this unreached tribe.
I can inspire others to join prayerfully and financially.

But I need to shout over the noise of 21st century advertising, and I’m not afraid to do that. I’m not embarrassed because I believe in my cause. I believe in reaching those who have yet to hear the name of Jesus.

“Shout the news of his victory from sea to sea, Take the news of his glory to the lost, news of his wonders to one and all!”
~Psalm 96:2-3

A few people saying “no” to my request for funds doesn’t faze me.
Those who hear my cause and are inspired to join me make it all worth it.

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You see, i am not a beggar, I am an advocate.

“Face it. Competition has never been greater. There are more people competing for the one thing that is finite: other people’s attention. And you’re in competition with everyone else who wants a slice of it.”
~Michael Hyatt

 

(Photo by Antony Giblin)

David Joannes
Founder/President at Within Reach Global
David Joannes is the co-founder and president of Within Reach Global, Inc, which serves the advance of the Gospel in some of Southeast Asia’s most difficult places. He is the author of The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary. David has a love for language, culture, and creative writing, and for the last 20 years, he has witnessed God’s Kingdom established in forgotten parts of the globe. David lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with his wife, Lorna, and their daughter, Cara.
  • Sue Long

    Causes like these are why I need money. I hate having a givers heart with an empty wallet 🙁

    • We’ll pray that God remedies that, Sue! Be blessed to be a blessing! Thanks for the comment.

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