Monday, December 29, 2014

What is Deputation?

Often, when people ask me "what I do" for a living, the next question is, "what's that?" Deputation is a strange word to most ears. Some missionaries call it pre-field ministry while others opt for the more understandable term support-raising. But what, exactly, is deputation?

The root word for deputation is deputize. According to Webster's dictionary, deputize means "to empower to act for another, to appoint as deputy." We all know what a deputy sheriff is. He's the guy that the sheriff enlists to help him get the bad guys, or in a more literal sense, to help him do his job. In a sense, every Believer is a deputy of Christ, sent and empowered to do the work of Jesus Christ. 

Michael and I are on deputation. This means that we in a period of time where we visit churches, asking them to empower us to act for them on the mission field of Georgia and to appoint us as their deputy. It is the church's job to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel." (Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8) Therefore, we are simply enabling churches (bodies of Believers) to fulfill the command of Christ to be witnesses to the whole earth. Pretty cool, really.

What do we do, practically speaking?
Well, we research churches in different areas. Then, Michael calls churches and pastors, trying to schedule meetings and make a database of contacts to work from. We travel to churches and present the ministry. We attend mission conferences. We teach Sunday schools, Bible clubs, and junior church, and help out churches in their regular ministry or whatever they have need of. Michael preaches, I sing or play violin. We meet lots of people. We spend a LOT of time in the office or on the road.  Sometimes, especially in the fall or early spring, it seems we live out of our car.  When we are home, then I have unpacking, laundry, repacking, shopping, and preparing for the next trip. (Right now, we are also preparing to move to a bigger apartment to make room for baby Hinson.) It's a crazy way to live, but a good one; for we are serving the Lord and doing His will for us right now. Really, I wouldn't trade it for a quiet, boring, "normal" life. Not at all!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Lonely for a Helpmeet

Being married is teaching me so much, and I am so grateful for the things I learned working with my dad, brother, and other guys as a single woman. Guys are so different!

I have felt like a horrible wife lately. Pregnancy has been hard on me, and many times I
have trouble doing more than reading a book in bed. My husband brings me breakfast in bed, goes off to work at 8:00, comes home at 5:30, makes dinner, washes the dishes, and shifts the laundry. Me? I'm resting; all day, most of the time. Some days are better than others and I'm able to do more, it just depends. So, I do absolutely "nothing" while my husband "does it all." Yet he is more than happy to do it. I don't get it. It seems strange to me that not once does Michael complain about my lack of activity. Rather, he often holds me close when I'm not feeling well and tells me to rest as much as I need.

Finally, curious about this so obviously unbalanced yet seemingly welcomed arrangement, I decided to ask Michael about it.

"Michael, why do guys like you want to get married so badly?"

His answer came quickly, almost without thought: "So we don't have to be lonely."

Understanding dawns.

Michael didn't marry me to be cared for. He can make meals, keep house, and do laundry all by himself. He didn't get married to have a family with several kids- that's okay, but it rates far under getting married, perhaps even in a different category all together. He married me so he wouldn't be alone.

If I had thought about it more, I would have seen this is the case in the heart of mankind from the very first wedding. God says that it is "not good for man to be alone. Let us make an helpmeet for him." The opposite of helpmeet is not incomplete or incapable, but lonely. Adam was intelligent. He had a job. He had everything he needed, except a friend. Eve was created to be his friend. His confidante. His love.

And so am I.

I must strive to be the best friend I can be. That doesn't mean I have to work myself crazy trying to clean the house or make meals, because that's not what my husband needs (some men might, but not mine). He needs me to welcome him home with a hug and a kiss, to literally be there for him, to listen to his struggles with ministry or other decisions, to sit with him on the couch. I want to be the kind of woman that Michael could say "My heart safely trusts in her." That's what I'm to be. His helpmeet.