For many years, people have compared missions to a foot race and how the missionary needs to pace himself and endure through pains and heartaches. This may be a good analogy, but I desire to share with you a different foot race when the missionaries are spectators and the supporter (you) is the runner. I hope this analogy will encourage you all.
The 4 x 100 meter relay is a race involving four runners. Each runner in turn must carry a baton and sprint 100 meters and then hand off the baton to the next runner. The fourth and final runner carries the baton across the finish line. All this happens in less than a minute and the race is over.
In a very similar race, our prayer and financial partners are running in a relay. Those who partner with us are on the Agutaynen relay team which consists of not just four teammates, but dozens. These teammates are you! Some young, some old. Some with strong lungs and others with weak knees. This team is not going to win a medal in the upcoming Olympics, but they are running for God’s glory.
Over the last 20 years, hundreds of people have partnered with us and at different times have carried the baton to see the Agutaynens reached. Over these years we have witnessed dozens of times the baton being passed from one supporter to another. Some have carried the baton for all of these 20 years. Some were with us early on, but then had to rest. But the baton didn’t fall to the ground. Others came along and took hold of the baton and kept on running. This race to reach the Agutaynens is both a great responsibility and a great joy.
Last month, we witnessed once again the baton being exchanged. One of our supporters emailed and said they could no longer partner with us in this way. This in no way was a surprise for God. Days prior to their email, a church in Michigan emailed us and told us that they would like to begin supporting us. The baton exchanged hands. We can share dozens of these stories with you. God always provides people and churches to hold the baton for a season.
Glory to God.