As a missionary we get to help a lot of people. We want to help spiritually and physically. We get to open schools, clinics, orphanages, and other training centres.
But I get asked all the time to help people. I am asked to help transport sick people to the hospital. I am asked by widows to buy their goods or loan them money for seeds to plant their fields. I am asked for rides to. the city all the time. I am asked for work. I am asked for money – to help in illness, to help in funerals, to help in church building projects, to help in running seminars, to help in court cases, to help educate kids, to help transport family members, to help build homes, etc…
How can you say, “No.” and yet it is impossible to say, “Yes.” Sometimes I will loan money and most of the time it is not returned. So I have learned to start with small loans until I have proven someone’s character.
I am asked to pay for training all the time. But when you give someone something and they don’t pay for it themselves, even a little bit, they don’t value it.
So we pray for wisdom to know what needs must be met and who to help. We pray for grace to learn to say, “No.” while still maintaining the relationship. We pray for strength to say, “Yes.” over and over again knowing that we won’t necessarily have even a thank-you in return let alone the debt repaid.
We pray that when we do say, “Yes.” we aren’t crossing that line of enabling which has hurt to missions in the past. We pray for our hearts not to be hardened to the many requests, but to remain tender and willing to help when and where we can. We pray for wounds to heal and forgiving souls so that we can trust again after being burned so often. We pray that we would never forget that what we own is the Lord’s and these people are His.