Thursday, August 16, 2012

Just Say "No!"

Early on during our Home Ministry Assignment, we sat down with some fellow missionaries to get their advice on raising support. And one of their pearls of wisdom has really paid off for us. We were complaining about feeling like the credit card collection company because no one ever returned our phone calls. Talk about feeling like an pariah! Their advice? Just keep calling.

See, sometimes we forget that what is so important to us―the thing that occupies our thoughts and fills every waking moment―is just a little task on someone else's to-do list. To most people the phone call that requires every ounce of courage we can muster to make barely registers as a blip on their busy day. They may be interested in hearing more about or even supporting our ministry, but it rarely crosses their mind. Making time to call back just isn't a priority when there's dinner to make, a softball game to get to and a favorite television program to watch. So, we determined not to take it personally and definitely not to take unresponse as a a negative response. We just keep calling and leaving messages―often for months―until they tell us to stop it.

I guess you could say we are the experts when it comes to nagging. And as annoying as it may sound, as a strategy it actually works! On more than one occasion, after weeks of messages and e-mails, we finally get to talk to an actual person only to find out that they've "been meaning to" call us back. Often we end up getting meetings and even supporters thanks to our perseverance. So we just keep calling....over and over...over and over.

Still, I can't help but wonder what people think when they get their 15th voicemail message. Maybe you think we're worse than the telemarketers, more persistent than a survey taker or that we're just desperate (you're probably right on all accounts). Maybe you don't want to hurt our feelings or want to avoid an awkward conversation. Or maybe we've just fallen to the bottom of that growing to-do list.

If you are actually avoiding us, let me advise you that there are only two ways out of the aggravating call-and-repeat cycle:

  1. Answer the phone and agree to meet with us. Hear God speak to your heart and become a part of His plan for Honduras

  2. Answer the phone and politely, but very clearly JUST SAY "NO"!
We thank you for your patience and understanding...and also for freeing up our time to annoy someone else for a while.