One of the goals of raising children is for them to one day leave the home and be independent. Now, as I am experiencing this with Jordan it is not always easy. Letting go and allowing your influence to change is difficult. However, it is what we raised her to be ready for. This is also true in ministry. We are to grow up and learn to find some independence in our faith. We must advance from just milk to digesting the meat of God’s word on our own. We go from being held accountable to holding others accountable. The result of good discipleship is the learner becoming the teacher.
This is one of the reasons I am so excited about the new direction of Manna Ministries. We have a plan to help our ministry partners in Malawi to become self sufficient in providing for the orphans, widows and pastors we support. Over the next five years we are going to pour resources into these ministries in order to provide them the foundation they need in order for them to eventually to take over the support of these ministries on their own. From now on you can be certain that the gift you make to Manna Ministries not only provides for the current needs but will help them be taken care of well into the future.
One of the big changes is the understanding of the purpose of Manna Ministries. Manna Ministries now includes not only the feeding centers but also the church planting endeavors in Malawi as we support pastors and churches to start new churches in villages around them. We need more people to support this ministry on a monthly basis over the next 5 years. We have a $80,000 per year budget over the next 5 years to get us towards this goal. Between Eastern Heights, Washington-Osage Baptist Association, and Sozo Ministries we are currently about $1000 a month short of this goal for this year. On top of the yearly budget we have set a goal to raise $100,000 to start a large scale farm that will be the financial catalyst to meet these needs going forward. A 30-50 acre farm with irrigation will serve as a long-term financial solution that will support the feeding centers and pastors. We believe that hundreds of churches will be planted in the future as the result of this new farm.
I am excited for the day when we can say that we are no longer needed. Not because we want out of the ministry but because they have matured to sustain the ministry on their own. Our current model meant that we could not enlarge the ministry without enlarging our monthly contributions. In the future we will be able to enlarge the ministry and leave them with the infrastructure they need to sustain the ministry on their own. This will be a true mark of maturity, independence. It will be a day, like the one I face in less than two weeks, that will bring sadness and excitement all at the same time. Will you help us bring Manna Ministries to a place of maturity?