Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Real God Market (6) Business as Missions: A Case for God

Hello again all!
I know it has only been a few days since the last post but I am feeling inspired to write.  In my last post I eluded to the Vision that has brought Laura and I to the Mission Field here in the Dominican Republic.  More than 5 years ago now the steps of our developing ministry were started in our home church in Lethbridge, River of Life.
I knew then as I know today that what we were going to attempt to build in the D.R. was not conceptually normal as far as Missions are concerned, but fundamentally the idea of a Mission House that supports itself while creating opportunity for empowering Missionaries to be more successful at their calling falls right in line with God's Word.

First of all I want to state emphatically that what we believe God is doing within this Ministry in no way reflects poorly on the ways other Missions operate throughout the world.  We are called to serve exactly where we are gifted.
1 Peter 4:9-11
 10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. 
For years prior to our stepping out into the Mission Field, our lives have been blessed with successful business operations both in Lethbridge and prior to that in Calgary.  These years of developing skills to manage food service businesses and the ability to train individuals to become skilled managers dealing with people day in and day out will soon be put to use in the service of God's people.
The Rio Vista Mission House is currently under construction and when it is finished (First Stage so far) it will provide comfortable accommodations, meals, and security for Mission Teams who are working in many Fields of Ministry in the D.R.  Our concept is not unique as there are many NGO operations who have these types of facilities around the world; YWAM is one of the biggest Christian Mission organizations that provide Mission Accommodations for their many teams that work in Mission Fields.  Their Mission Houses help fund the many programs they provide for empowerment of all kinds of indigenous people all over the world.
In reality it does however take a lot of funding to put these facilities in place before the operations can be self supportive.  That is the irony, we need to raise funds through donations in order to be able to provide an adequate facility to generate more provision for God's people.  The end does justify the means simply because once the facility is operational it will sustain itself.
Already we have established relationships with many Mission Groups who rely on international teams to bring the necessary resources, funding, and training skills that are required in these Mission Fields.
I believe that the reason God requires His people to "use whatever gift he has received" is exactly for this reason.  The Mission Field today is extremely diverse and requires "specialized" Missionaries that can effectively implement specific operations that produce fruit in communities all over the world.

It is clear today that the evolving Mission Field that God has sent us into is filled with compassionate people who are wholly committed to giving all that they can so that many will become empowered through the work they do.  We are a small part of the "specialization" in the Mission Field.

Rio Vista, which means "River View" will provide a definitive facility from which the Compassion of God can reach those who need it most.  Each team that stays at Rio Vista will enjoy daily meals and private accommodations necessary for refueling Missionaries who give tirelessly of themselves.
Rio Vista in turn will turn revenue generated from the people who stay at the house into empowerment programs designed to lift people up with better education, better health, clean water, better food and better homes.

The self-sustainable Mission model is one of the most viable solution to continuing the difficult task of ministering to God's people.  Everything is more expensive now because inflation and demand has driven costs up to almost unreachable totals.  There is a new term floating around the established Church Community more and more today than ever before; "Donation Fatigue"  I have heard this story from every Missionary who works in this Mission Field.  I am sure it a universal term among most Missionaries of the world.  This term has been around for a while but today the impact of declining economies and many families burdened with mounting debt has resulted in a retraction globally on giving.  This means Mission Groups must find new ways to provide for themselves; in order to be successful in the Mission Field.  For without success in funding they go home, unable to fund their projects or even pay the rent in many cases.
Some would argue that this is God's will ultimately for He created everything we see, including money, and He can certainly provide if needed.
However, I also believe God does not want us to live our lives creating mountainous burdens of debt for ourselves; ultimately being crushed and broken by the same debt which provides our lifestyle.
No, I say it is far better to provide a means of compassion in Missions through a self-sustaining model that ultimately provides everything the Missionaries require within their Mission Field.

I also believe that there are many in the Community of God that are beginning to ask the same question.
This is far reaching people, and it is affecting everything around us daily.  It is not just International Missions that suffer, the local church is also under increasing pressure to survive in this declining Global market.

This I believe is God's will today in this evolving global economy we live in.  It makes sense to use the wisdom God blessed each of us with and make decisions for Missions and the Church that create empowerment programs that are self-sustaining.  More and more people are called into Missions everyday; more and more they will have to become ever creative in order to provide for the poor.

The foundation of Rio Vista Mission House has been built on this principle; a self-sustaining Mission to provide empowerment programs for the poor.

We are almost ready to begin operations at Rio Vista; ironically, we do not have enough funding to finish the security perimeter and landscaping.
We are excited to announce that we have booking requests from four teams now!  We are encouraged by the support we have received for Rio Vista up to this point and we are again asking for your support to help us become a fully operational-self sustaining Mission!

Please check out our website to see all of the groups who we work with and maybe bring your own team to experience what God is doing here in the Dominican republic!

Corporate and personal donations can be made through our partner in Missions, Bridges of Hope.


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