A missionary at a bargain

This is how much it costs to support an African missionary to northern Mozambique – our Kenyan friend Patrick‘s missionary budget:

ITEM Monthly Annual
Family expenses $265 $3,180
Housing/Rent $65 $780
Language Learning $65 $780
Residence Permit $40 $480
TOTAL $435 $5220

Mission: Plant culturally relevant, sensitive, and vibrant churches among the un-reached M*slim peoples of Mozambique

Focus:

  • Outreach: Church planting among the un-reached M*slem peoples starting with the Mwani
  • Discipleship: In churches/colleges
  • Mission education: In Churches, Bible schools, and colleges; for the church in Mozambique to take responsibility for Missionary outreach.
  • Need based/focused research: Issues of Isl*m, African Traditional Religions (ATR), and un-reached peoples

From his survey trip, Patrick reports: “There were many unreached people, especially in the northern coastal regions of Mozambique. . . . Existing churches lack adequate leadership. One church leader said that his denomination had 120 congregations in one region with only seven pastors (only four of these are even trained at a diploma level [Associates degree]). The Christians there have a great thirst for God’s word . . . ”

If you are interested in helping support this effort, e-mail Patrick. I’ve lived next door to Patrick and Violet for a year, and I know how simply they live, as well as how generous they are to their neighbors. Every cent they get is well spent. We believed in them enough to foster their daughter, Joy, so she wouldn’t have to go to boarding school

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8 thoughts on “A missionary at a bargain

  1. steph says:

    Is that your object? Are you there to convert people of different faiths, particularly Muslims? And why the asterix in Muslim and Islam?

  2. Ben says:

    Steph, I knew that this could be a controversial post, and I even hesitated to post it when I thought of you and all my travel dialogs.

    Here’s how I look at it. It’s no secret that I am a Christian – a follower of Jesus. Though there are a lot of distortions out there, I believe following Jesus to be the true way.

    I encourage others to respectfully disagree with me (even within Christianity), and I don’t think there is any reason we should avoid talking about those disagreements. That’s one of the reason I enjoyed my recent trip so much.

    We should all feel free to present our own views and to try to be persuasive – not coercive – but respectfully persuasive. I am not at all offended when a Muslim makes a strong apologetic case to me. It shows to me that he takes his religion seriously; he wasn’t just “born into it” to quote an earlier comment, and that he believes in that truth so much that he wants me to share in it. I welcome that.

    Why the asterisk? Mainly, Patrick asked me to be careful in this way during any internet communication specifically about him. I know the vast majority of Muslims are friendly and peace loving, but in this particular case, he and his family have actually been threatened with death before – in Tanzania. Other Muslim friends and neighbors came to their rescue. One of the young men he had met with had his house burned down and barely escaped with his life. It’s not something I like to publicize, but it is a harsh reality of certain contexts. (Like racial hate-crimes in Europe and the US, it’s almost always perpetrated by young thug-types.)

    Still, Patrick would be the first to tell you that he has had great relationships with most of his Muslim neighbors – even those who strongly disagree with what he is doing. I know Patrick, and I know that the way he interacts with people of other faiths is very respectful.

    [Note that there were no asterisks in my post talking about me.]

  3. steph says:

    I still don’t understand the relationship between being careful and using asterisks.

    Yes I’m afraid I have problems with missionary work in foreign countries. Of course you are Christian and I respect that but I wonder that Christians can’t respect other people’s beliefs too although I understand the interpretation in Matthew to go out and proselytise. I think it’s sad to challenge other people’s beliefs at the risk of breaking up a family or worse with the object of changing them. I think it’s a shame that you expect them to defend their faith and even make a strong apologetic case in order for you to accept they take their faith seriously…

    |As an agnostic I don’t particularly like arguments over the existence of God. I would be offended if you expected me to defend my agnosticism.

    I think the Pacific was far better off before the white man came and took away their culture. I’ve studied Pacific and Aboriginal religions – very socially cohesive, peaceful and environmentally friendly…

  4. steph says:

    Actually I think your post title provoked me. Sorry for being grumpy.

  5. Ben says:

    Asterisks just keep this particular post out of the search engines when certain searches are used. That’s all. For anyone who is actually part of the dialog, there won’t be any problem anyway.

    I’m not saying that I expect someone to defend their faith per se. I’m only saying I don’t mind when someone tries to persuade me – as long as it’s a respectful discussion. (I myself don’t try to persuade people that aren’t interested in having that discussion.)

    Re: the title being provocative. (No apology necessary, I think I know where you are coming from.) This is one of the big problems with blogging as opposed to talking to people face-to-face (cross audiences).

    Re: your last sentence. I think this is one of the great tragedies of “missions.” The teachings of Jesus came packaged in (largely) English culture (and greedy colonialism). This is one of the reasons I am doing my biblical studies in Africa, which has had some parallel experiences with the Pacific. (You should hear me rail against many traditional mission paradigms.)

    There are many aspects of African culture that are more in line with the teachings of Jesus (community, spirituality, hospitality, holistic worldview, etc.) than the culture of Western Christianity that has replaced it in many instances.

    Historically, the truly great missionaries are those that respected and became a part of the peoples with whom they lived. The teachings of the New Testament were integrated into those cultural contexts in culturally appropriate ways. Paul is probably a good example of this, which is what got him into so much hot water with the people “back at home.”

    That’s one thing I like about Patrick; he can do that a lot better than I can. His Christianity is an African Christianity – not an American Christianity. Remember, in the African context, even Islam is a foreign religion.

  6. Pirate says:

    To change the subject … wow that is cheap. That’s less than I spend on groceries. Maybe I should consider giving up food to support this work!
    (As an aside, Ben, you made a good and reasoned defense of (culturally appropriate) mission.)

  7. Ben says:

    Thanks Pirate; that was my original point. I bet there are a few others out there that wouldn’t even have to give up food ;-).

  8. […] Other posts from Patrick: a missionary at a bargain […]

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