WALLA WALLA, WA
The package contained 126 $100 bills.
A large priority mail envelope recently arrived here at Gospel Outreach. Inside the envelope, we discovered a package wrapped in aluminum foil. As we opened the package, to our surprise we found stacks of 100-dollar bills between two sheets of cardboard. When we counted them, there were 126 bills, totaling $12,600. An enclosed note indicated, “If this is not enough for adopting a number of workers, more may be sent.” This cash gift had been sent by one of our established donors who already was participating in our Adopt-a-Worker program and wanted to add to their support of Gospel Outreach workers.
Gospel Outreach’s Adopt-a-Worker program matches workers with sponsors who are willing to make a one-year commitment to support a worker by contributing $150 per month. Currently, only about one-fifth of Gospel Outreach’s nearly 2,000 workers are matched with a sponsor, so many opportunities are available to participate in the Adopt-a-Worker program as a donor.
Many of our donors desire a deeper understanding of how their donation is being used. The Adopt-a-Worker program makes this possible. When you are contributing $150 per month, it helps you feel more personally involved when you are able to see something of a worker’s daily life as a front-line ambassador for Jesus.
Since the introduction of our Adopt-a-Worker program, donors who participate now have access via the Internet to Web pages where we post their workers’ stories, photos, and periodic reports for sponsors to view. By this means, Gospel Outreach donors are able, even from afar, to feel connected with workers that know the language and culture in distant lands within the 10/40 Window.
While not everyone is financially able to individually sponsor a worker, perhaps a group in your local church, such as a Sabbath school class, may decide to collectively commit to sponsoring a worker. The suggestion to adopt a Gospel Outreach worker usually comes from a member who has a passion for people living in a particular area of the 10/40 Window and shares their heart’s desire with other members of the group. The group may select a lead person to monitor the Gospel Outreach website and share stories and reports with the other members. Donations are collected locally from the group, and the church treasurer forwards the funds monthly to Gospel Outreach.
One church, with only a handful of members, supported five Gospel Outreach workers for years. I would get notes from the treasurer saying that the entire weekly offering for a Sabbath was only $130—not providing much to operate the church. Yet, they faithfully supported their workers every month even when it looked like they were facing financial difficulties. They would ask for as many updates as possible so they could keep their group well informed. We know that in many such situations only a few within the group may actually provide the funds, but the worker receiving the support is thankful for the prayers of all those backing them from afar.
Jesus commanded His followers, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone” (Mark 16:15). But not everyone can go to China, Africa, or India. What then? Romans 10:13–15 explains: “All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call unless they believe? How can they believe unless they have heard about Him? How can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?”
Each of us may assist the Adopt-a-Worker program by becoming a sponsor or a prayer partner in support of those who are being sent.
By Doug Anthes, Adopt-a-Worker Coordinator
Doug Anthes writes from Walla Walla, Washington.