There is verse in Nehemiah that has held a special place in my heart and it’s a frequently quoted verse. It’s Nehemiah 4:19-20, “…The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.”
Nehemiah was faced with discouraging and difficult circumstances. It’s interesting to me because He clearly trusted the Lord to work on behalf of His people, but Nehemiah also alerted others to the need and asked others to rush to the aid of those being overwhelmed on the wall when the need arose. He trusted God but also took practical steps.
I’m sounding the trumpet! We are being overwhelmed! I trust the Lord is working, and will work, but I also want to alert others to our need. (Please read on and hear my heart.)
Eleven years ago when we were getting ready to move to Europe as missionaries there was a lot for us to think through, pray through and organize. One of the things that I struggled with was how to go about raising support. One of our very good friends, Pastor John Hwang, shared something very profound with me.
He told me about George Muller. He related how George Muller never told anyone at all of the difficulties and needs that he and his ministry was facing. He purposed in his heart to only take those needs to the Lord in prayer.
John then told me about D. L. Moody. He said that D. L. Moody, when faced with needs in his ministry, told everyone everything. He had no problem asking people to give to the ministry because it was a worthy work he was engaged in.
Then John said, “Gary, God isn’t calling you to be a George Muller and He isn’t calling you to be a D. L. Moody, He is calling you to be Gary Barrow.” What John was saying is that God has a way He wants us to go, it’s not the way George Muller went and it would not necessarily the way D. L. Moody went. The Lord wants me to seek and follow Him and He wants me to be His man.
Since we have been here in Europe we have seen out support drop dramatically. We have long struggled financially and have been willing to scrimp and squeaked by. The truth of the matter is we are receiving less then a quarter of what we need to live in Europe. We have been told by many people we need to share our need so that people can be aware of it and givers can give. I’ve tried but I have never felt comfortable it.
Today, I need to sound the trumpet. We need help desperately. I’m not asking you to give to us financially, I don’t want people to think that we are always asking people to give to us and to the ministry God has entrusted to us, but I am asking you to please, please pray. We have a handful of supporters who have stood by us through the years. We’re so thankful for them too. But we need God to raise up people who will commit to standing with us through regular monthly support.
I would like you to know, I have really struggled with writing this. I wrestle with what is the right thing to do. I know we have been bought with a price and we are the Lord’s and desire to glorify Him. If it wasn’t for the Lord I would have thrown my life away a thousand different times and in a thousand different ways. We trust that He is at work and will see us through. Yet I wonder, if we don’t see people rally to us, whether we need to consider leaving Europe and the work that has begun here. It doesn’t appear that we can continue with our current level of support.
Thank you in advance for your prayers.
Gary and Tina