Monday, December 15, 2008

Transparency

There is always a question of transparency in missions communication. How much should we tell? Do we report the problems in communication? The lack of money? The meal of rice and gravy? Will this "poormouthing" "let down the side?" But if it is relentless cheerful good news why read it?


I used to get a newsletter from an organization that evidently had a policy of "no bad news". So I got used to reading reports like this:


Praise God that Tina's broken arm has nearly healed (What? Broken arm? How did that happen?) This is a real blessing as we are working 24/7 and have nearly repaired all the storm damage (There was a storm?).


Eventually I started praying for whatever the missionaries needed without opening the newsletter--because I wouldn't find out there.


Then there are ministries that are always in a crisis! Must have money now or got to leave the field! Those leave an even sourer taste in the mouth... and a "please take my name off this mailing list."


But I think between the two extremes there is room for honesty. And one of my purposes in writing this blog is to let supporters, friends and prospective missionaries know what life really is like on the field. So transparency is necessary to accomplish that purpose.


Right now we are having a difficult time because of all the extra surgery expenses. Just as with anybody else, there are expenses that insurance doesn't pay and are not reimbursable. For example, I can't go anywhere by bus, and have to have a taxi take me to my weekly appointment. Mike and Colin can't cook as cheaply as I can. Also they don't know how to wash clothes by hand--so we have to send out to a laundry. Several churches said that they were sending money (without our asking--all their idea--praise God!) But so far, we haven't received it. But we HAVE received the expenses. And, for some reason, not the money. Usually we receive a few Christmas gifts from churches and supporters...and we haven't gotten those, either.


So here it is, time for the move, time for Christmas, and....


God IS faithful and he WILL provide. And ultimately we all don't depend on anyone but Him. So please just pray for us.


Love in Christ,

Tammy