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Instinctively we recoil from requests for money. Most of us have experienced financial hardship, and we fear giving away the money that will disappear fast if we lose our jobs.
Martyn and Sian have experienced years of looking at life from this non-Biblical perspective. It is sometimes said that the last part of us to be converted is our pocket book. This certainly applies to us!
In our British culture, it is generally unacceptable to talk about, or ask for money. Consequently, we tried very hard to find jobs that would help us avoid asking people to support us financially. Martyn should be able to continue some of his work in France, especially web design and TradeStation programming. One way of helping us is to let friends know about his services. However, Sian was also looking for a teaching job in France, as without her income they will need to receive financial support to live in France.
Sian applied for a couple of teaching jobs in France. She was concerned that if she had suddenly been offered one she and Martyn would have had to suddenly turn things around and relocate to France in a few weeks!
Sian prayed that Jesus would give her some reassurance and wisdom to discern what to do. Immediately, Sian saw an image of an old, wide, gold bracelet. It was from a bygone age. Sian prayed for a clue to help her understand the significance of this piece of jewelry. She turned to Martyn’s chronological Bible which is full of interesting archaeological and historical details. Immediately, she turned to Exodus chapter 11. This passage described God telling the Israelites to ask the Egyptians for their gold and silver jewelry! It referenced that prior to currency jewelry took the place of money, and the Egyptian jewelry included wide, gold bracelets. I googled “Ancient Egypt gold bracelets” and saw one that looked the same as the one that God showed me. Later in the day when I s driving to work, God nudged me to go to a local store to see a similar bracelet. In World Market a bracelet was displayed near where I entered the store, and it was very similar to the Egyptian one.
What do I conclude from this? God richly supplied the Israelites as they prepared to leave Egypt, from the most unlikely source: their slave masters! God will supply our needs and we do not need to fear! The job did not materialize but God will provide creatively and magnificently.
More important than the message that Jesus gave to encourage Martyn and me as we prepare to leave behind our lives in San Diego, is the Biblical encouragement that God will take care of all our needs. Philippians 4:19 encourages us that, “….my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Even though God can supply our needs through any means (even a coin in a fish..!) he loves it when his children cheerfully help one another in every respect. What is more, Jesus blesses abundantly those who help financially with the spreading of the Gospel.
In Philippians 4:17, Paul explains, regarding the church at Philippi’s financial support of his ministry,
“Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.” What Pail means is that what is more valuable is the blessing, the “fruit” that they will receive from helping him, rather than the money itself that supports him.
Whether we receive money from a surprising source, or from Martyn’s work or from Christians’ generosity, we delight in knowing that it is God who provides all things, and we have no need to worry. We will be particularly happy if friends contribute to our ministry, and as a consequence, reap many blessings and much “fruit”.
If we had to choose between people praying or giving to us financially, we would receive prayer as a priority. Prayer will lead to opportunities, protection, fruitfulness, wisdom and joy! Please do not feel that you should give financially unless Jesus nudges you, in which case follow his leading!
We have been accepted by Shepherd’s Staff missions organization. If you feel called to support us financially, please visit our page at Shepherd’s Staff.
In addition to our Christian work and Sian’s teaching activities, Martyn has his own software and marketing business. This experience should both benefit the church in France as well as being a means of partial support for our family when in France. The marketing side of his business focuses on creating websites, email marketing and graphic design for a diverse client base (see billyfire.com). He is able to do this work from anywhere in the world. He has a Cambridge University degree and an MBA in marketing. He offers very cost effective design and marketing offerings for businesses. He is eager to do as much as the French government will permit to support our family. As European citizens the opportunities should be open ended although the tax rate is high.
We hope that we will be able to continue running this business in France on a part-time basis. In addition to pray and financial support, you could also consider supporting us by using our services. Please visit billyfire.com and also consider the following: