I was on our Bethesda Baptist Church’s Mission Committee for 7 years. My wife Jan, was also very involved in missions. The Lord provided for us to go on several mission trips and as a couple we even led a small team of teens to Brazil for 3 weeks. We got to know and became good friends with many missionaries. So, we thought we had a pretty good idea on what it took for a missionary to get to the field. Yes, I am talking about deputation, or prefield as we call it. Prefield is the time between our appointment as missionaries, to the time we actually leave for the field. Read on to find out what prefield is all about…
Prefield Is Not A Race For Money
Yes, financial support is necessary and we can’t leave for the field until we are 100% supported. Currently we are at 52% of our support. But if we focus too much on money, and we lose our focus on Christ, we will quickly get discouraged. When Jesus sent out the 12 apostles in Luke 9:3, He said, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics.” He told them not to take anything with them because God would supply for all of their needs. Their faith and patience would grow as they witnessed God’s provision. God continues to grow our faith and patience as we see Him provide for our needs through His people.
Prefield Is Not A Battle For Time
Being on prefield is like being in a whirlwind. Sometimes you don’t know if you are coming or going. There truly is a delicate balance between work, family, prefield, ongoing education, and everyday life. Get any one of these out of balance and all the rest also get thrown out of kilter. Some people have asked us when we are leaving for the field. We have been on prefield for less than a year. In actuality, the average time for a missionary to get to the field is 3-4 years. Our goal is 18 months. But that is our goal. We realize God has a plan. He is sovereign and He will get us to Papua New Guinea in His timing. We just have to be patient, obedient, faithful to what He has called us to do, and rest in the promise of His faithfulness.
Prefield Is Not Just “Preparation” For Ministry
It is ministry. A ministry to which God has called us. Never again will we have this opportunity to tell so many people about what God is doing in our lives. We want to be an encouragement to those around us and spur others on towards love and good deeds. Prefield is all about displaying the power of the Holy Spirit which is the only thing that enables us to do His will. It is about team building and relying on God through His people for prayer, financial, and emotional support. Prefield is about engaging in relationships for the glory of God and investing in eternity. It is about being totally dependent on Christ and putting Him center stage so that He may be praised. For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever.
We Can Only Give Glory To God
We are so thankful for each and every person that is supporting us through prayer and finances. We are so thankful for our sending church, Bethesda Baptist in Brownsburg, Indiana. They have helped in so many ways. We are extremely blessed to be a part of that family. This week Bethesda gave us a financial gift of $8567.50 towards our Outfit and Passage fund. Praise God from whom all blessing flow. If you would like to be part of our prayer team or you are already praying for us, please let us know by dropping us a quick email. We are so encouraged when we know people are praying for us. Take 5 seconds and and pray, “God help the Smiths today”. If you would like to be a financial partner, you can give a one-time gift or support us on a monthly basis using the link on the right side of this webpage. If you have questions, please let us know. We would love to meet with you, have some time of fellowship, and share our ministry. All of our contact information can also be found on the right side of this page. God Bless.
*Excerpts used by permission of Brad Winkler – Directory of Prefield Ministries at ABWE