Giving God a ‘Helping’ Hand
God’s promise to Abraham that he would be made ‘into a great nation’ (Genesis 12:2), was clear. However, later when this outcome seemed impossible in their old age, Abraham and Sarah came up with their own solution; giving birth to a child through Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar (Genesis 16:1-4). Reflecting on this passage, David Harley writes, ’the history of the Christian Church is full of examples of people who sought to do God’s work for him in their own way. They were well meaning and dedicated, but they often caused chaos and confusion because they could not wait for God to act and resorted to their own plans’.1
The key point is that God will do what he has promised and we should not inappropriately take matters into our own hands. Therefore, we can be sure that he is going to provide for those he has called to work among East Asians. David Harley continues, ‘this is not to undermine the importance of careful planning or strategic thinking…but…when we make our plans we must do so in a spirit of prayerful dependence on the Holy Spirit for his power and guidance’.
It is significant to note that depending on the Lord includes wise, responsible actions. For example, getting an indication (not guarantee) that workers are likely to be well supported before they leave for their ministry context and communicating to encourage informed prayer. Reports such as this one are a way of sharing how the Lord has provided financially, as a matter for both thanksgiving and encouraging prayer for what is ahead. For those of you who pray for our workers, you should be receiving similar information from them too. If you aren’t, please do highlight this to them.
We are most grateful, once again, for how the Lord has continued to provide, through many of you reading this, so that our workers were again fully supported in their life and ministry requirements in 2018. Thank you for your faithful part in praying and giving. Subject to audit confirmation, our overall funds, income and expenditure in 2018 broke down as detailed below.
We hold a sum to buffer the effects of fluctuations in legacy income. At the end of 2018 this reserve contained £729k. In addition, unallocated General Funds were £1633k, including £950k which is to be set aside to assist with funding the UK operation whilst it is being reviewed over the next five years; in the context where member numbers have been reducing, this enables the per member contribution to cover the costs of the UK operation to be fixed whilst the review is undertaken. The remainder of the General Funds are funds that we have been informed we will be receiving, but which have not yet been received. Besides the funds detailed above, most of the other funds held have either been allocated to restricted purposes (£264k) or known specific future needs, being mainly savings for extra member costs during home assignment (£570k). Our online Hub, where you can subscribe for prayer materials, book on events and give is now fully operational. On the Hub you can also manage your existing subscriptions and see a record of your giving history. If you haven’t already used it, do take a look: www.ukhub.omf.org. Please pray with us as we seek to continue trusting the Lord’s promises and taking responsible actions to achieve outcomes in ways that the Lord may be pleased with.
Director for Finance & Corporate Services
- David Harley, By Faith and Failure (Singapore, 2007), p.64.
Financial overview 2018: