About Giving (and Receiving) Money for Mission Trips

I appreciate Dave’s comments today on giving money when approached by family or friends to give money for a mission trip. He suggests asking that the recipient match dollor-for-dollar from their own money. I had the policy, when I was leading such trips, that we never gave “full ride” scholarships. When someone donated money to help people join a mission, we would use that to cover up to half.

But at the same time I want to remind people to give due consideration and listen to the Holy Spirit. I recall one summer when I had led a team to Eastern Europe and had already spent several thousand dollars. When I returned someone asked me if I could join another trip to serve as part of a teaching team. I told them I was financially already tapped out because of the trip I’d already completed. They asked if I would go if the money became available. Knowing both that the likelihood of someone donating the entire cost was low, and that the policy of the team leader was that nobody should go without making a personal commitment to the trip, which I clearly was not, I said, “Sure. If that happens I’ll go.”

Famous last words … a couple of weeks later I was told that someone had donated the full cost of the trip for me and that the team leader had approved. So I was stuck! Then just before I left, as though God wanted to underline the “don’t doubt what I can arrange!” message, someone handed me a $100 bill, saying that he thought I should have more pocket money than I was likely to carry on my own initiative.

So off I went on a second trip that summer. Oh, and the first one had been nearly a month, so it was not only money but a fair amount of time away from work.

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