Using Our Talents
In between our most recent ministry trips, we enjoyed serving in our local fellowship in our hometown of Decatur, Indiana. In February, a couple in the church asked all of us who attend to consider an activity based on Matt. 25:14-30, on how we were using our talents for the Lord. They offered to give anyone who felt led to do so $20 and, after much prayer, would invest the money in some way that the Lord could multiply it by using the talents He had given us. After three months, we were to return the $20s to them, give an account of how the Lord multiplied it, and donate it to one of the ministries in our church. It wasn’t thought of as a “fundraising” activity, but as an exercise in trusting God as we serve Him.
Being completely dependent on God and the supporters that He had given us through the years, we asked the Lord if we should participate in this activity and, if so, to show us how to use our talents for Him. He led us both to accept the money.
This past March, as we were leaving our teaching positions in South Asia, the director of the college told us that they were going to have a farewell service for us and that we would be given gifts. We told her that that wasn’t necessary and that we were not there expecting gifts. She asked that we would graciously receive what was given to us and to use it in whatever way the Lord led us. We discussed this between us, and Mick and I decided to accept the gifts and use the money as the multiplication of our talents.
We were quite surprised when we opened the envelope and saw a large amount of U.S. dollars. We thanked the Lord for it, but then both of us, separately, began thinking that, since it was such a large amount of money, maybe it would be all right for us to give half of it to the talent activity and put the other half into our missionary support account for further ministries. We talked it over and agreed that this might be a good idea, but the Lord, again separately, brought to our minds Acts 5 and the story of Ananias and Sapphira who withheld part of the money that they had promised to give to the Lord and the early church leaders. They both died because of their deception. He showed us that we had promised Him that we would give all of it as an unexpected gift to our church. So, we repented of our wrong and when the time came to give the money, we gave the full amount.
The next Monday morning, a family who supports us monthly came by to see us. The husband and father of the family told us that three of their grandparents had passed away this past year, and that they had received quite an inheritance. They had been praying about how to use this money and where to give the tithe from it. They said that the Lord showed them that they should divide it up to four different ministries, and that we were one of them. He sat in our living room and wrote out a check to our support account and laid it face down on the coffee table. We visited for a little while, and then they left. We then looked at the check, which was written for the exact amount that we had given to our church as our talent to the Lord.
Once again, God showed us that He wants our obedience more than sacrifice and that He will supply our every need as we honor and obey Him. We are now serving in the Republic of Ireland for three years of ministry. We thank the Lord for reminding us of His faithful provision and presence.
--Nora Suman, OMS missionary
Editor’s Note: The Sumans have been missionaries with One Mission Society for nearly 35 years. They spent 15 years in Spain, 7 years in student ministry in the U.S. and another 9+ years in Asia. They returned to the U.S. due to health issues. Most recently, the Sumans served three, three-month terms in South Korea before heading to the Republic of Ireland.
View all of the opportunities how God may use you to be a missionary. Is God calling you to be a worker, either on the front lines or in a support role?