21 August 2008

AIM Is Shooting The Gap

Recently I was introduced to a missions organization that has had an unusual focus for almost twenty years. They disciple believers by encouraging them to work with the poorest of the poor in various places around the world. Discipleship programs, of course, are not unusual (actually a dime a dozen) but developing disciples through ministries to the desperate is.

AIM (Adventures In Missions) uses short term missions as opposed to the "lifer" approach and so far they have taken more than 65,000 people to the mission field for a period of one year or longer. The interesting thing is, they started this approach before it became the latest trend. That is to say, they aren't newbies. They have been focusing on desperate communities for a long time and have managed to leverage ministry to the destitute for discipleship gains. Gaps which were ignored for a long time have become the vision at AIM.

I perused their web site and found them to be very well organized and their experience has given them a lot of insight in this area of ministry. You can read about them here http://www.adventures.org/

I actually discovered AIM by accident. A young lady, Bethany Lynch, who attends one of my supporting churches, West Park Baptist, has signed on with AIM for a nine month mission trip to South Africa. You can guess why I was interested. I met Bethany's parent when I was at West Park recently and her dad proudly told me about her plans to minister in South Africa. Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet Bethany while I was there (large church - mission conference chaos - you know the drill) but she did make contact through email and I was very interested to learn about her interest in South Africa and AIM. I actually checked out her blog and the AIM web site.

Now, this post isn't just another human interest story. I am writing because it is crunch time for Bethany. She is 18 days away from the point at which she needs to have 60% of her support raised. AIM is a "by faith" organization. They provide the training and the opportunity but each participant/disciple must raise their own support.

The program works like this. The first 60% of the support and air fare must be raised as a lump sum before a first time missionary starts the program. The final 40% is raised as commitments to monthly support. And the program is regulated by schedule. You must be ready to start when the program starts or you don't get to start.

At this point Bethany has her air fare and about half of the first 60% in the bank. She also has commitments for most of her monthly support. But, she needs $2,055 to reach the 60% goal by September 8.

I was amazed at the amount. We're talking nine months of living expenses, ministry expenses and air fare. I am sure her accommodation will be sparse at best (yikes, that hurts)! But, she is willing (anxious) to go and there are people who need what she is offering. This is an opporuntiy to get a lot done with a small investment.

Here is the question: Can you help? No, better yet, will you help? This is a good cause, backed up by a good church, run by a good organization and well founded in the Bible. Needy people will be helped, good people will grow and you have the opportunity to help make that happen. It doesn't get any easier.

To read Bethany's story and donate online go here http://bethanylynch.myadventures.org/?filename=financial-update.

I have already made a donation and will probably do more. In fact, Bethany has posted some of the materials she will need for ministry which we can supply right here in South Africa. We look forward to doing just that.

The good thing is, this is so easy. You don't even have to get off your duff. Just click on over to Bethany's site and make it happen.

Go well and LOL from this side. ThinkAboutIt


Anonymous said...

This is very cool. I will definitly support. I was in the same situation last year, and can testify that God provides if we are walking in His will.

It is also very cool because the AIM house in SA is in Jeffreys Bay right next door to where my mother lives. She usually takes them cake and stuff.

Please keep us up to date with where the money stands. God will provide.


EnnisP said...

Are Global Challenge and AIM connected? AIM is doing a Race For The World which is something like Global Challenge did. I actually thought about Global Challenge when I read their info. AIM seems to be a very well organized group. I was impressed.