Giving Tuesday is a special day of the year.
In a day and age where Thanksgiving boasts midnight rendezvous to the mall and online shopping, Giving Tuesday was created to remember the “giving” spirit of the holiday season.
In 2012, donors gave over 10 million dollars to various nonprofits and companies in the name of “Giving Tuesday.” Last year, over $117 million dollars was gifted!
While I find delight in the generosity of individuals around this country, I am reminded today of the time and energy our Village Missionaries give, not just on this Tuesday – but every Tuesday – and every day in between.
The Village Missions motto states, “Preach the Word and Love the People.” This means that our missionaries aren’t just sitting at a desk or standing in front of a pulpit. In fact, most of the time you won’t even find them in the church. They serve out in the community.
On any given Tuesday, you might find a Village Missionary herding cattle with a nearby farmer or chopping firewood. He could be baling hay or visiting a nursing home.
I remember when Carole and I served as Village Missionaries. I would come home long after sunset, exhausted after another long day on the mission field. It’s hard work being a missionary!
I cannot think of a better day than Giving Tuesday to remember these Village Missionaries who give so tirelessly to the work of the Gospel every day.
For this reason, we want to focus our Giving Tuesday efforts this year to funding the 2017 Staff Conference.
Statistics show that “burnout” is one of the main reasons pastors quite the ministry.
I can testify to this truth! When you faithfully preach the Word and love the people, you certainly get tired.
That’s why we offer Staff Conference each year. During this 5-day conference, Village Missionaries and their children have the opportunity to get away from ministry and just spend 5 days receiving R.E.S.T (rest, encouragement, strengthening and training).
You cannot possibly know the radical affect these 5 days have on our Village Missionaries. Each year, I talk to missionaries who teeter on the brink of burnout, yet return five days later, excited to return to their churches and communities.
For other missionaries, it serves as a wonderful to reconnect as a family after a busy year.
The conferences don’t just benefit the adults, either. Kids 0-18 attend classes and make friends with other missionary kids. They even share their own joys and struggles with other kids who actually understand what they are going through.
I receive a plethora of responses each year telling how conference made a difference in the lives of our missionaries. Here is just one example.
“We were refreshed by the time at conference! We are especially thankful that it is such a highlight of the year for our kids. It is one of the things they love about serving in Village Missions.” – Village Missionaries Jim & Lynette Karg
One of the greatest things about Staff Conference is that we have decided to keep it 100% free for the Village Missionaries. This ensures that every family can find rest.