Sunday, November 11, 2007

IFAP and Jehoshaphat

Today I thought I would write a little more about IFAP and C&MA. Most C&MA missionaries are funded from what is known as the Great Commission Fund. The denomination's churches give to a general fund and from that various missionaries are funded. The C&MA recognized several things with this: #1. There will be a finite amount of dollars raised each year and therefore their ministries overseas will be limited, #2. There is more work to be done for Christ than what is funded via this fund and #3. there are countries where a traditional missionary approach is not feasible secondary to political policies or needs of the people in the country.

Because of this C&MA organized a branch known as the International Fellowship of Alliance Professionals. If you go to their website you will see it described as "marketplace" ministry. This takes the idea that any believers who are following Christ will in the framework of their vocation seek to make disciples, and sets this concept in a crosscultural setting. IFAP members are not funded by the Great Commission Fund but are either funded by personal fundraising or by employment in their chosen field in the country where they are going.
An example of the latter is someone who goes to China to teach English as a second language and is payed by the university where they are teaching. We are an example of the former.

As we seek to get to the R.O.C. we will be living off our savings for most of language training. As we get closer and closer to the R.O.C. though we will need more and more financial support. So why did we choose this particular path? One answer is because of prior associations and another is Jehoshaphat.

Answer #1
Essentially as we approached the C&MA we and they came to realize that God's calling our life was not going to be covered under the limited funds of the Great Commission Fund and so we chose IFAP as an alternative means of being associated with the C&MA. We wanted to be associated with them because of our experience with them the past 8 or so years we attended various C&MA churches.

Answer #2
Now what does this have to do with Jehoshaphat? Well in 2Chronicles 20:12 as Jehoshaphat was wondering how he was going to escape utter destruction he fasts and prays to God and ends with "we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you" Like Jehoshaphat knew he did not want complete destruction of Judah, we knew God wanted us overseas serving him. Like Jehoshaphat we did not know the mechanism. As we searched God's will He made it clear that the organization was not as important as our willingness, but through various opportunities He seemed to be pointing toward IFAP. By the way it is very interesting how God answered Jehoshaphat's prayer and I urge you to read 2Chron 20:20-24 and ponder the application of how each of us should approach conflicts in our lives.

Please continue to pray for:
Authorization to enter Quebec
Adoption proceedings
Sanity and Wisdom in our moving process
Opportunities to share what God is doing in our lives
Effective communication

Praise God for
his goodness
opportunities to speak
our children's excitement about the move

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