Interdependent—that is what God is teaching me to be, and it is a hard lesson to learn. For years, I have prided myself on being independent. A child of American individualism, I have taken that concept and have run with it. As an adult, I have made my own way in life. As a singleton, I have had to do everything on my own. I haven’t had to depend on anyone financially—until now.
Support Raising. I don’t think a single missionary enjoys this process. It’s daunting, scary, humbling, and perhaps for some, humiliating. You see, in our American culture, we have been taught not to depend on others for anything, really, except for emotional support. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. Make your own way in life. And Frank Sintra’s famous, I did it my way.
As Christians, we aren’t called to live life all alone; we are called to live in community; we are called to live not independently, dependently, but interdependently. And truly, that’s how we are designed to live as human beings. Even if I were independently wealthy, I don’t think being a missionary, solely dependent on my own funds, would be the way to go. When we commit to a project, organization, or cause with our time or money, we become engaged and invested. All of sudden that remote well in Haiti becomes my well too. If you feel compelled to partner with me in prayer and/or finances, my work in South Africa becomes our work in South Africa. Both senders and goers are equally important in God’s eyes.
As usual, Jesus knew what he was doing when he set up this model for proclaiming the Good News: “Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources” (Luke 8:1-3, NRSV).
A lot of times, I think Jesus’ women disciples get forgotten; but they played an integral role in his ministry by traveling with him and by donating to his cause. If a life of interdependency was good for Jesus and his disciples, it is good enough for me.