Monday, August 25, 2014

Why Not YOU? Why Not NOW?


The ANNUAL income of Evangelical Christians is approximately 6.72 trillion dollars. 

1.8% of that 6.72 trillion dollars is given to Christian causes: $545 billion.

*This is how much Americans spend on CHRISTMAS every year

Only 0.1% of the annual income of evangelical Christians is spent on MISSIONS. That is 31 billion dollars a year. (Only 5.7% of the money given to "Christian causes" in a year.)

*That is how much Americans spend on DIETING programs in a year

87% of that 5.7% goes to those who already have access to the gospel, the REACHED. That is $26,970,000,000.

ONLY 1% of the 0.1% of Evangelical Christians annual income goes to reaching those who have absolutely NO access to the gospel. THE UNREACHED.

Guys, that number... $310 million, is as much as Americans spent on Halloween Costumes in 2011...for their PETS.

This is not okay.

*Statistics found at http://www.thetravelingteam.org/stats

If you are anything like me. You read these statistics and they grab you. You sit there and think about them and you can't quite believe they are true.

And then you start to process it more and you get mad. You get mad at the church or evangelicals that do not give of the resources that God has entrusted to them.

Then after that, you decide you're going to do something.

But after a few more minutes you can't think of what to do, so you walk away and move on with your life. Probably buying something you don't really need (like Starbucks or something cute at target) and by that evening you've totally forgotten about what had so captured your attention only a few hours earlier.

It took me actually coming face to face with the unreached for those statistics to not just temporarily affect me, but instead, change the course of my life.

When a statistic is no longer a statistic but rather a face, it changes everything. Here are a few faces for you.


This is a church that took us over three hours to reach by truck on essentially hiking trails. They are desperate for the gospel and growth within their church but they have no one lead them. No one wants to live so far secluded from civilization to disciple and train these people. So instead, they wait for the missionaries to come when they can ( about every other month).

The worst part of this is, that this village is in Ghana. A country that is not even in the 10/40 window. These people are not one of the 7000 unreached people groups. They are technically the reached. So if no one will go to them... Who is going to go to the other 7000 unreached people groups that NEED the gospel?

I know that these statistics can seem overwhelming and unattainable. Sometimes when I get overwhelmed I just want to shut down. And that's how I can get when I think of my total inability to solve this problem. And then I remember that this is not my problem to solve.

Before Christ left this earth He gave us ALL one final task: make disciples of every nation, baptizing them in the name of the father, son and Holy Spirit. That is our task. We as the church have this one task and that is all and we are all called to do it TOGETHER. We each have a role.

Just like the body is made up of many parts so are we.

Some are called to GO. Maybe The Lord has laid it on your heart or is now stirring up a desire in your heart to be one of the few that will go to these hard places to reach those who have never heard.

Please hear me, if you know that you are not called to GO, do not stop reading. You may have a role that in some ways is far more vital than the goer. You may be called as a sender. Maybe The Lord has provided you with resources that could be used directly impact the unreached.

I pray that soon the statistics will change and the culture of the church would change with it. How incredible would it be if we all learned to live on less and give more. If 99% of the funds given to missions were going directly to the 7000 unreached people groups?! Can you imagine the joy and contentment in that..in fulfilling the Great Commission in our lifetime?

I have realized something about myself these last few months. I am far too easily pleased. All it takes is the "next best thing" for me to be distracted from the task that God has given me.


So what can we do? How do we begin to conquer this task before us?


1. Take a perspectives class. Prioritize learning more about missions and the unreached

Link to Perspectives Classes near you: http://www.perspectives.org/

More information on the Joshua Project: http://joshuaproject.net/


2. Take a good look at your budget and honestly evaluate your giving in the light of eternity and our remaining task. Ideas for giving: tithe above and beyond to your local church, contact a missionary you know is going to the unreached and ASK to join their support team. ( could you imagine their delight having someone ask them if they could help them get to the nations?!?), give to an organization that is actively engaging with the unreached.


3. Honestly ask yourself:why not me? Why not now?


Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little,
when we arrive safely because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess, when we have lost our thirst for the waters of life, having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity, and in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas, where storms will show your mastery, where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizon of our hopes, and to push us into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love. This we ask in the name of our Captain, who is Jesus Christ. -Francis drake

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Will YOU join me?

Hi Friends!
I am on the "home stretch" of my support raising and I need YOUR help. Will you join me? Will you take a serious look at your budget and commit to giving monthly so that I can start my job with Pioneers?

I need just 10 more couples to commit to my date night challenge and I will be 75% funded to go to Orlando and start working to get the GOSPEL to the UNREACHED.

Right now, I need 4 couples to commit to giving $50/month. When you really think about it, that is a pretty cheap date ;).  Giving this amount a month might translate into going to a park and eating a packed lunch instead of going to a movie and then a small meal. I know that this could be a sacrifice, but it's only ONE night a month and you still get to spend time together and you might find it's more fun to be creative with dates and spend your money towards advancing the gospel to the nations!

I also need 6 couples to commit to giving $25/month. That is literally one meal at Panera for two people ONCE a month that you would give up. Or one person's meal at Olive Garden.

So, I am challenging you. COMMIT. Do It. Have a conversation now with your loved one and commit to one date night a month getting creative and having an "alternative" date night where you pack a dinner and spend time praying for the unreached around the world.

YOU WANT TO ACCEPT MY CHALLENGE...WHAT NOW?

1. Click on this link: https://webapps.pioneers.org/DP/Give/GiftInformation?gifttype=eft and be sure to enter my account number 101401. And then follow the directions to have it set up withdrawal once a month.

2. Be sure to send me your email address so that I can add you to my monthly email list. I will send you an unreached people group every month that you can be praying for and raising awareness for amongst your friends and family.

3. Share this challenge with your friends and family!! The more the merrier and the sooner I will be able to move to Orlando and start my job of getting missionaries to those who need the Gospel!!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Discouragement turned to TRUST.

Life does not always go the way we planned. I guess that's all part of surrendering our lives to God's control and allowing Him to plan our steps. I have seen that in a few ways these last few weeks. Unfortunately many times my first reaction to my plans changing is discouragement and wanting to give up rather than reliance that God knows and He is in control. BUT, that is all part of the sanctification process and luckily the discouragement doesn't last too long and I'm back in reliance on Him. (so thankful for grace!)

The first discouragement turned trust. My goal date to leave for Orlando was August 12. However, obviously that is in 5 days and I am not in the process of packing and going on my way to Orlando. The Lord clearly showed me about a week ago, that I am not supposed to go yet. For one reason, I am not 100% funded to go. But also, that means I would only have 5 more days at home, with friends and my church. I am just not ready to go yet. SO all that being said, my tentative move date is now September 18 (or sometime in that week). One of my best friends has her wedding the week before so I will be able to stay home and join all the festivities and then have a chance to be with my Indy family again before I move. 

With this new move date, my goal is to be 100% funded by the end of August. Then I can just enjoy a few weeks with my family and friends.I have had a few people ask about what it means to be 100% or what I am raising support for. So I thought I would answer that really fast. I am essentially raising my salary to be able to work for Pioneers on their mobilization team. Without support, I would have no resources to be able to do my job of recruiting missionaries to reach the unreached. My job (and the rest of my team in Orlando) is vital in the process of getting well trained missionaries to the field so that the whole word has the chance to hear the gospel. SO that is what I am doing right now. Asking my friends and family to join me. To partner with me in bringing the gospel to those who need it most. Right now, I am a little over 50% funded; BUT, I am looking for more families/individuals that will commit to giving monthly. Anywhere from $50-250/ month. It sounds like a lot, but we as believers have been called to giving of our God given resources generously and giving towards the advancement of the gospel. If this sounds like something you want to do, PLEASE don't hesitate to contact me ( I would love to share more with you one on one!!) just sign up to give here: https://webapps.pioneers.org/DP/Give/GiftInformation?gifttype=eft Be sure to use my account number 101401. I also have a date night challenge going on now that you can participate in if you don't have any extra money in your budget to give towards missions. You can read more about that here: Date Night Challenge. Will you pray with me? That the Lord will bring just the right families into my life to partner with me. Also, that I will continue to seek God in this. That He will be my first thought as I go through this journey. He has proven so faithful and I praise Him for that!

Mom with her beloved grandson Spencer. 

The second thing that is definitely a discouragement but God is redeeming concerns my mom's health. She has so patiently and beautifully endured three sets of treatments for her cancer. Thankfully the last two treatments haven't been anywhere near as bad as the first but still, it is not fun for her. She has lived with nausea, fatigue, aches etc for the last few months. We were hoping and praying that after this last treatment, she would be done for a while. But this last CT scan showed that she is improving but is not where they want her to be. Because of this, they want to do two more treatments. While this is definitely not the news we wanted to hear. (and was quite discouraging for all of us) We are choosing TRUST. We know that this is no surprise to God. He created her perfectly and we know that this is what He wants of her right now. She is incredible and has accepted this next challenge with grace and beauty. She will begin her next set of treatments on Monday, the 11th. Will you pray for her? Will you pray that the side effects will be minimal and that she can feel like a good mom and grandma? She does an incredible job but I know it is so hard for her. I pray for supernatural strength and encouragement for her. 

Thank you for joining this journey with me and my family. WE are seeing everyday HOW faithful God is and it is many times because of words and encouragement from you our "village". We love the community that God has given us and we know we could never walk through this alone!!! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Date Night Challenge

Do you and your spouse or significant other prioritize a few date nights every month? Do you try to go to the nicest restaurant around to enjoy for the night? Or maybe you aren't in a relationship but set aside money for special outings for yourself throughout the month. 

Well, I have a proposition for you. What if you used that night and the funds you would have spent and invest them in supporting my ability to work for Pioneers and mobilize students and adults to reach the unreached with the gospel. I am not asking you to give up your date night or time together. BUT instead one date night a month, pack a dinner and go to a park and enjoy that time there together, instead of at a fancy restaurant. 

Here is the exact idea of this "date night challenge":

1. Once a month you choose to pack a dinner (or go to McDonalds and get a large diet coke in my honor ;) ) for your date night instead of going to a "fancier restaurant". 

2. You then have it set up that every month, the sum of whatever you saved from dinner that night (anywhere from 25, 30, 50, even 100) is automatically put into my support account with Pioneers. 

3. Every month, I will send you an unreached people group that you can be praying for and sharing about throughout the month. 

4. You invite your friends and family to join you in the challenge. 

The goal is two fold. One, the more friends and family you invite, the sooner I will be fully funded to start my ministry of recruiting short and long term missionaries to the field. Also, this is an opportunity for you to educate your friends and family about the spiritual need for the gospel in so many communities around the world. 

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE UNREACHED AROUND THE WORLD? Click this link for a past blogpost, as well as go to Joshua Project.


So...you've read this far and you want to accept this challenge. What now? 

1. Follow this link: https://webapps.pioneers.org/DP/Give/GiftInformation?gifttype=eft and make sure to put in my account number 101401.Fill out the form and give whatever you believe you would be saving on your dinner by packing dinner instead. (Even if it is 10 dollars...it is NEEDED and SO appreciated...but feel free to give more ;) )(if 10 couples or singles gave $10/month that is $100/month toward my need) 

2. Then, be sure to give me your email address so that I can add you to the email list and send you a new unreached people group to pray for every month. 

3. Tell your friends and family. Challenge them to join you in using your date night to advance the Kingdom and reaching the unreached with the gospel! 

4. If you are on instagram or twitter (I guess facebook now too) use the hashtag #marysdatenightchallenge so that I can see the pictures of your date night and how you are educating your kids, family, and friends on the unreached. 


I praise God for how He is working and I pray that you will ACCEPT this challenge and become as passionate as I am about getting the Gospel to those who need it most!! 


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

We are going to Camp!

I am SO excited to officially announce that I get to spend a whole week in July with this awesome family!


During the third week of July, I am blessed to be joining this family at Victory Lane Camp. Victory Lane Camp is a camp in Indiana especially for children with disabilities and their families! It is a Christian Camp that helps give families and members of their communities valuable training to empower the children and the family members. My role will be an extra set of hands for Tom and Angela as well as a partner in crime for the boys ;). There are special sessions just for them as parents and I will be able to hang out with the boys while they are in the sessions as well as helping however I can throughout the week. (Maybe even let them have a date night during the week ;) ) 

I am so excited for this opportunity to get to know the Humphrey family better as well as just love on them for the week. But, in order to get there, I need to raise about $200 more dollars! 

This is the link to their website http://victorylanecamp.org/...if you would like help get me to camp, you can just click the big "DONATE" and be sure to put my name in the subject line. (the link is through paypal, so if you do not have a paypal account.. you can always give me the check/cash and I can send it along to them.) 

Thank you so much for helping invest in my life so I can then invest in the Humphrey Family! I will be sure to have lots and lots of pictures and videos from our week at camp! 

In case you don't know about this crazy fun family, here is the info Angela provided for the camp bio: 

["After 28 years of marriage and as our 2 biological children were flying from the nest, we began praying in earnest about what God had next for us.  On our 3rd mission trip, we believe God answered those prayers when we met Ian on a visit to the Robin’s Nest Children’s Home in Jamaica. Despite having Cerebral Palsy, being non-verbal and non-ambulatory, Ian was a delightful 8 year old boy. He communicated quite well with eye gaze, expressions and gestures. God led us to begin the adoption process and 16 months later, we brought him home. Two years after adopting Ian, we again felt God leading us toward another adoption, this time through our local DCS.  Jeremy and Lucas (ages 9 and 6) were in foster care and needed a forever home. They began visiting on weekends in March, 2011 and their adoption was final in August. Due to past trauma, neglect and abuse in their lives, Jeremy and Lucas have many challenges to overcome. God is using all our boys to grow us in ways we never would have imagined.  Because of each of the boys’ unique and special needs, it has been difficult to find activities that we can all do as a family. A friend sent us a link to Victory Lane Camp and our interest was piqued when we realized that there were appropriate activities for all the boys but mostly the Christ-centered resources for the entire family."]

Saturday, May 31, 2014

nothing is impossible with God

It is such a privilege to lay your life at God's feet and watch Him provide. I have loved being able to do that these last few months. It is not easy. Actually, it is really hard. BUT God always provides. Through this process of submitting the nursing salary I could have and instead raising my salary so I can go into full time ministry, I have learned SO much. I have learned that I too easily get discouraged and let lies dominate my thinking instead of TRUTH. God has promised so much to me and I too easily fix my eyes on this world instead of the cross and His promises. He has promised that He will never change. He has promised that He will provide my EVERY need. He has promised that He will remain faithful even when I am faithless. He has promised that He will love me no matter what. He gave His Son to show that never ending, all encompassing LOVE.

I am learning that it is a privilege for me to ask my friends and family to partner with me in this ministry. It is an opportunity and not an obligation to allow them to give in this way. 

I count it a privilege to help (myself) and my friends and family move from a temporal man-made, horizontal, buying and selling, to ETERNAL, God designed, vertical giving and receiving. I am excited to help believers in transferring huge portions of their earthly banks to their heavenly bank. I look forward to allowing them to enjoy the rewards and multiplying dividends of their investment forever. The heavenly bank is full of riches, we only have to ask. *(excerpts taken from "God Ask")

"I have found that there are three stages in every work of God. First is impossible. Then it is difficult. Then it is DONE." -Hudson Taylor

I am excited to share with you an opportunity for you to join in the "Impossible". I am asking God for 75% of my support by the end of June. I am praying to have $2100/month raised by the end of June. That means I need to raise 1700/month within the month of June.This would seem impossible to me, if I didn't know that God already has this done. I just have to be faithful and ask.

I am SO excited to begin working with Pioneers as a recruitment coordinator. I will have the opportunity to recruit short and long term missionaries to join our teams around the world reaching the unreached with church planting missions. The GOSPEL is going out to the WORLD and I have an opportunity to be a part of that. Who wouldn't want to join in that? Because I am a nurse as well, I have the unique opportunity to recruit medical professionals to reach the undeserved populations with not just much needed medicine but the gospel as well. Oh I CANNOT wait to see how God is going to use the talents and abilities He has given me to reach the unreached with the Gospel. Oh how I love watching the Kingdom Grow!!!

Will you pray for me this month. That I will trust God as I make phone calls and meet with families and churches? I pray for bravery, a clear mind and ability to share the vision. I wait in expectation for God to meet this need. 

In order to have $1700/month: 
       -2 ministry partners to give at least $250/month
       -8 ministry partners to give at least $100/month
       -8 ministry partners to give at least $50/month



"The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands." Psalms 138:8

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we can ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen" Ephesians 3:20-21






Thursday, May 22, 2014

Not as I planned...

I still struggle so when things don't go the way I want. You would think that after countless times of God proving that His way is better, I would've learned. BUT no. I still fight back. I still desire my plan to be acknowledged and put into action.

That's how I feel about these last few months. If it was my plan, we would have a treatment for mom and she would be on the road to getting better. She was supposed to be done with treatment by July and then I would feel comfortable moving to Florida after that. BUT that wasn't God's plan. Now we are completely clueless as to a next step and totally unsure what the next few days look like let alone the next few weeks.

I also wish that I could have my plan when it came to support raising to work for Pioneers. I had the "perfect plan" in place. I sent out the first group of my support letters and then a week or two later I would start following up and calling my friends and family and sharing the vision behind what I will be doing with Pioneers. BUT once again, that was not God's plan. Less than a week after I sent out my support letters, my mom was in the hospital for over two weeks. Then as soon as she got out, I had to study for my nursing boards (WHICH I PASSED!!!!!). But that means that it has been over a month since I sent out my support letters and I am JUST now SLOWLY starting to follow up with families.

This is definitely not how I would've planned to do things. HOWEVER, I have seen time and time again that when I submit myself to God's plan instead of my own, it works out SO much better. When I step back and allow Him to work, He gets so much more glory and it works out best for me.

Oh, when will I learn? To just step back and let Him take control from the beginning.

May God get the glory and be shown completely through these next few weeks.

Would you pray for me in this time of support raising? It can be incredibly challenging to humble yourself enough to ask your family and friends to partner with you and support you. But I know that this is the road that God has me on and I cannot wait to see where He leads.