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The Call to Give

By Janet Neville

Above: Janet Neville and Ruth Vasu in India in 1975.

When Larry and I were first married we made a commitment to give to missions. We had never been outside of America and had not had much exposure to missionaries or teaching about missions. When I think about that, it is so unfortunate how many grow up in churches that do not emphasize giving to world missions.

The first of every month we would take the amount of money that we pledged to give to missions. We would place the money between our hands to pray over the money and then send it. There were times when we did this and it would be our last dollars.

During that time, Psalm 41:1 became our life scripture, "Blessed is he who considers the poor; The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.”

In our second year of marriage we were assistant pastors for a short time in a church where the pastor had preached all over the world. The office had pictures of the large miracle meetings. I think it was there that Larry really felt the desire to preach in the nations, but, we did not have money or support to do that.

About two years later, we decided to go to India. Larry said, “If we go to the mission field I want to go to the most needy.” My dad co-signed for us to get an America Express credit card. We purchased the tickets and went to India. That was in 1976. That trip changed our lives.

When we experienced the needs in India, we realized that we did not know what to do. Yes, we preached, sang and did what we did in America, but it felt so superficial to us in the face of the desperation we saw. We were stricken. After we returned home, we were determined to find answers and to be involved in world evangelism. We literally stopped traveling from church to church doing, “revival” meetings. After that trip to India, Larry said, “I can’t do this same thing anymore.”

That is about the time Mike and Donna moved to Maywood, California to pastor. We also decided to pastor and a church opened in Phoenix, Arizona. It was during those early days of pastoring and experiencing revival that God led us to learn about the three main core values of our fellowship ( today: Evangelism, Discipleship, and Church Planting.

It all started for us when Larry and I started giving to world missions.

Now after fifty one years since we started life together, I tell you from my personal experience that liberal giving is the only pathway to true success in the ministry and in life. And yes, Larry and I still give every month to world missions.

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