“Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit (Phil. 4:17 ESV).”
Early in February, my wife Anyele and I welcomed another beautiful baby into our home and hearts. In the midst of our joy, we also heard that little voice of responsibility whispering, “One more gift from God to teach.”
Among the many things we have taught our three older children were the magic words of please, thank you, and I am sorry. They are good for parenting and marriage and, they are good for life!
After three weeks of paternity leave, my ISMC travels resumed, including 10 flights in 17 days. Believe me, I had lots and lots of thinking time.
One thought that gripped me is how regularly two of those phrases are characteristic of support-raising missionaries like my staff and me: Please, would you give your (time, talent, treasure) to God? And, thank you for doing so.
But what about the third magic phrase—I am sorry? Ultimately, we know God is the centre of everything we are and do as a mission. After that, our staff or volunteers would most likely say that students are the centre of all we are and do. It wouldn’t surprise me if our new Membercare director insists our hardworking associate and career staff are at the centre of what we are and do.
True, to some extent, but consider: isn’t it true that our donors are at the centre of all we are and do? As a Canadian charity under God, the donor has to be the center of what we are and do.
So I will readily say I am sorry to any donor who feels that all we care about is students, students, students. Let it never be felt that we missionaries are the big deal, the stars—and our faithful donors are basically just supporters. We know we are here because of our donors as together we seek the fruit that increases.
We are because you are!
Dr. Yaw Perbi