Deputation – A word that is only in the dictionary as “a deputing” which only means “to give to a deputy or to appoint as one’s substitute” therefore I have come to the conclusion that truly this is a MADE-UP WORD by churches that do not send out their missionaries when called to various mission fields, but force them on “deputation” to travel the entire country begging churches and individuals to financially and prayerfully support them in order to get to their destination of calling. WOW! That was wordy! Seriously though, we did not belong to a denomination that just sends out their own missionaries (God Bless You Denominations :-)), so it was up to us to raise our own support. We had to make up packets, send them out to 100s of churches, make cold-calls basically selling ourselves and convincing people who didn’t even know us we were called by God to the Dominican Republic, tell them what our mission was and hope and pray they would at least let us in their church to present our burden to their church. Then, once you’re in a church, you have to pray that your spirit bears witness with theirs, they see the vision God has given you and then wait to hear if they are going to support you. I realize I’m leaving the impression that I am bitter about this process, and truly I am not, because through this process we GREW rapidly in the Lord, MET many wonderful people that we still call friends and got to TRAVEL around a LOT of the United States. When “quality time” is your love language, you get lots of it… stuffed in your car with those you LOVE :-). Deputation took us as far south as Florida, north to Northern Michigan, east to Virginia and west to California with MANY places in between.
Some highlights were:
1) Meeting our whole Dominican ministry team in Virginia where we were all invited to attend the same Missions Conference.
2) Being blessed with the hospitality of many families who would house us for typically 3-5 days.
3) Seeing many areas of the US that we had never seen before.
4) Quality Time with my family!!
5) Watching God work in us and through us as we had many opportunities to share our salvation testimonies and the call to the Dominican.
6) Seeing God provide when on paper the “budget” seemed impossible. What a time of faith becoming SIGHT!
Some struggles were:
1) After our mini-van was totaled (while at home in Ohio, which ended up being a HUGE blessing and God totally worked it out for good), we traveled the country in a 12 year old 4-door sedan and we had three kids in carseats…It was cozy.
2) Two days after we named that lil’ Sedan “God’s Car” it broke down just south of Birmingham, Alabama. Thankfully, we had just met some people from Birmingham a month before (coincidence? I think not.). They came to our rescue, let us stay with them for 6 days while the car got fixed, and the church flipped the repair bill! Praise the LORD!
3) Wondering if we were ever going to make it to the Dominican, if we were ever going to have enough support to go (we needed to have raised 80% in order to go).
God of course had it all under control in His perfect timing. In 16 faith-ridden months, our house FINALLY sold and we had enough support to leave for the Dominican! Adios USA!!
To Be Continued still…