Keeping mission vision alive and growing A quarterly publication of Mission Data International

Archive for the ‘Wartime lifestyle’ Category

Davis Interview: Living intentionally

Friday, April 25th, 2008

by Paul Nielsen

This issue’s interview is with Chester and Amy Davis. I’ve known them both for more than ten years now. They presently live with their four young children in Lincoln, Nebraska while Chester works on a mechanical engineering degree.

They present some ideas here that are challenging and outside of the norm; I was hoping for this when I emailed them about doing an interview. In their own words, they are living intentionally. Their intention: To serve God in the area of missions that uses their gifts and fills a need. They are as dedicated as anyone I’ve personally known in living out this desire. While not everyone will agree with all of their observations or exhortations, the sacrifices they’ve made along the way are something every aspiring missionary needs to seriously consider.

This will be the first in a two-part series.

Propel: You’ve expressed concern about the amount of support required of missionaries by some mission organizations. Can you elaborate on this concern?

Chester: For some reason we, here in America, have bought into certain aspects of the “health and wealth” gospel, and it shows up in support raising. It’s simply un-Biblical to require that God provide exactly how we dictate in order for a person to be in full-time ministry. Secondly, it is outrageous to require that if God wants to use me in ministry that He must provide an income greater than that which be paid a worker in the most wealthy country in the universe.

Amy: It’s interesting to me that people in some vocations can make a lot more being a missionary than they could in the area of their training. For example, a degree in English or history or speech doesn’t generate high pay. But a missionary is paid not for his training or according to his skills, but what is considered a “reasonable living.” This seems (to me) to support a lifestyle roughly equivalent to $60-$70K USD annually. Also, a missionary’s wages increase with the number of dependants. What other field does this? 

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Living on less to give more

Friday, April 25th, 2008

by M-DAT executive director

Ask an eighty year old about victory gardens and ration coupons and you will hear some interesting stories. These programs were instituted during World War I and II to limit consumption and free up materials needed for the war effort. Average citizens sacrificed to achieve victory.

A few years ago I took a mission course, that introduced me to something called the “wartime lifestyle.” It takes the concept mentioned above and applies it to the Great Commission. Jesus left the Church the task of taking the Gospel to all people. How can we limit our consumption to free up resources for the completion of the task?

First, you must find out where your money is currently going. You can not adjust your diet unless you know what you are eating. Track spending for a month, then make a plan. It is sobering to realize that over the next 20 years the average American household will have one million dollars pass through their hands. You need a plan in place to tell that money where to go. No plan, expect waste. College students and singles often think they are exempt from needing a plan. This is simply not true. They are often times the ones that are the most susceptible to waste. Getting a plan in place and sticking to it takes a lot of courage and discipline. But if you are serious about living on less to give more, you have got to do it. I recommend attending a Financial Peace Seminar or the Financial Peace University to help.

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