D A U D A    E T H A N   Y U S U F
Life is a gift. A beautiful gift from God. It is to be enjoyed, maximized and appreciated. 
However, life must be shared. One phenomenon about life is this, despite its beauty and splendor, it is best enjoyed when shared. Its beauty radiates more when offered.
God created Adam a perfect being, the model of mankind. However, something was lacking, something that’ll beautify Adam’s life. So God declared; it is not good for the man to be alone. God actually wanted someone to share from Adam’s life. What did God do? He created for Adam a partner, so that they’ll both share from each others lives.
Have you wondered why the presence of another person in your life makes you feel happy and fulfilled? That’s because you’re created to relate.
God intentionally created humans not to be independent, neither did God create man to be fully dependent. God created humans to be inter-dependent. 
Have you ever wondered why the gift of the holy spirit is given differently?  Consider the words of Paul the Apostle: 
1Corinthians 12:7.
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.” (New King James)
We have diverse gifts so that we can minister one to another in the area of our gifts and strength. There are certain things I lack, which are entirely different from what the other person lacks. We may have in abundance what others really need. 
Likewise, they may have in abundance what we lack. Even common sense tells us that we should trade. However, the world has over emphasized independence. We are given to a  self deceptive notion that we don’t need anything from anyone. 
The world has gone further to indoctrinate us that needing from  another person is a sign of laziness. Here is another deception: whatever is to be given aside from material things, isn’t really important. 
That’s why a person who offers money is considered of higher esteem than the person who offers knowledge, counsel, love amongst other virtues.  what we don’t realize is that money itself is a finished product. 
If you have a bill in your pocket kindly take it out and examine it. You’ll discover that it’s actually a paper or cotton. You’ll also notice that it is coloured and designed. It is processed like any other finished good. Like dress, money  while new is shiny and crispy. But eventually fades. 
Money is actually manufactured in factories. So if money is a finished product, we can say there’s something more important, something needed to acquire money. 
It is knowledge and wisdom; grace and keeping to principles. But that’s a topic for another day. Why then do we neglect the raw materials and focus on the finished product? 
Therefore in inter-dependence, we should really count with value what everyone has to offer. 
Let’s do an analogy with everyday life. When you register in a school, you pay fees. The teacher doesn’t come sharing money in class, but lectures. The teacher in turn is receives the money the student paid. 
At  completion of the student’s study, he’s given a certificate. He takes the certificate to a firm and displays it, to prove that he is qualified for a particular task. He’s hired and paid. What he gives the organization is not money but services. What the organization offers him is not a service but money. You see, they both have what each other needs. And that’s the birth of a partnership.
Hence we can confidently say no man has ever achieved absolute independence. It was designed this way so that humans can relate with one another.
Having said this. Let’s consider the role of relationship and partnership in missions and ministry. We’ll start with a case study of Jesus, as he’s our ultimate example, role model and template in missions and ministry.
Luke 8:2-3
“And certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance. (New King James).
When you observe the above scriptures you’ll discover an example of perfect interdependence. Therefore Interdependency is something I believe every healthy relationship is built on. 
You’ll also observe that what Jesus had to offer can not be quantified in monetary value, otherwise these women being of substance would have acquired without the help of Jesus. Jesus on the other hand needed out of their substance to keep his ministry going. 
You’ll then ask, does it mean that Jesus who is the son of God needed to rely on humans for provision? On the contrary. Jesus being our perfect model had to show us a perfect example of a healthy relationship and partnership.
Let’s consider the case of Paul the Apostle.
1Corinthians 9:11.
” If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?” (New King James)
Apostle Paul is making it clear to this Corinthian church the importance of interdependence. Church folks however turn a blind eye to this scripture, maintaining that that Apostle Paul was a tent maker hence missionaries must work to support themselves. 
True, if God brings an opportunity the way of a missionary, he should maximise the opportunity. However, one thing is certain. No missionary can single handedly fund his ministry. Jesus needed the support of the women in Luke 8:2-3 and Apostle needed the support of the Philippian church. Philippians 4:10.
How about Elijah and the widow of Zarephath. Elisha and the Shunammite woman? And  many other examples I can’t expatiate.
Having these examples and models, how then should we respond? Do we still view missionaries and ministers as lazy people trying to live on charity, or as partners and co-workers in the assignment our Lord Jesus Christ left us with the day he ascended to heaven? 
Except we think they don’t offer anything yet expect to receive. We’ll begin to treat them as partners pursuing a common goal and agenda.
Let me say this; it is ok for you to ask the missionary you’re supporting or intending to support to put you in the knowledge of what he’s doing. That’s why missionaries write news letters, make videos of their outreach and make uploads on their blogs and on social media. 
However there  are missionaries and ministers in remote areas who do not even have access to power supply or internet, yet they labour tirelessly day and night. If we must follow the example of Jesus, then we must partner with them. 
Remember, if you partner with them, you you’ll share in their reward. The reason we’ll share in his glory when the son of man appears, is simply because we’re partners and co-workers with him and have shared in his sufferings. Let me leave you with this verse of the scripture.
Romans 18:17.
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (New International Version)

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