Golden sunrise, Belize City. Photo: Fr. Shaw Mudge (c) 2013.
I was a businessman. Our manufacturing firm never knew what our future was going to be like, more than 30 to 45 days ahead; it was that way for the 18 years I was there: day in, and day out, even as the company grew.
Missionary life is like that. We never know what is going to happen next. Every day is a new adventure. Why? Because there are so many unpredictable things that might happen in any particular day, that anything could happen.
So, as in business, we have diversified our ministry opportunities, to prepare for the future. We have several different ministries in fact. And we never know what is going to happen more than 30 to 45 days ahead. I think it is that way with many missionaries. It is a daily trusting in God that I learned in business that has stood me well in the ministry.
So, what does our 2014 look like? Well, I suspect it will continue to be a view of 30 to 45 days at a time. Beyond that, as in the case of many businesspeople and missionaries, it will be hard to tell. There are quite a few possible variables.
In the meantime, every day becomes a valuable gem. You cherish it, and at the same time, you invest it for the Kingdom of God. After a while, a bigger return on our investment can be possible because other people invest, as well. Those who support missionaries invest in the eternal gem business.
But is hard to see the finished gem in the beginning. In the beginning a lump of coal does not look terribly promising: that is the shape of most new ministries. But when the Lord gets finished with it, people will be falling all over themselves to get the diamond. To hoard a diamond would be a mistake. When God turns coal into a diamond, the diamond becomes a bigger investment for the Kingdom of God.
2014 holds the promise of a transformation. Some people who just seem like regular old folk at the beginning of the year, may become transformed in God's eyes by the end of the year, becoming gems of great value through the work of the Holy Spirit because of what you do to support us. And your partnering in God's work with us helps make the personal transformation of the work of the Holy Spirit possible.
Ways to support us.
Please make checks out to: "SAMS", and put "Mudge" in the memo space. The mailing address is: SAMS, P. O. Box 399, Ambridge, PA 15003-0399.
In Jesus' Name and God bless you,
The Revs. Shaw and Julie Mudge Missionaries of SAMS and Albany.