A letter of thanks to the supporters of WTWH

January 6, 2024

tims blog






Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The timing of this letter of thanks for your support seems especially appropriate since I am soon to leave on a mission to Uganda, East Africa. I leave Baton Rouge on January 18 and expect to be home on 2 February. I go forward in the name of the Lord and in your name as well, to the end that your investment pays high dividends now and in eternity.

I went on my first Christian mission 46 years ago, just months after I accepted Christ as my Savior. I was 20 years old. Only a few weeks had passed since I finished my first-ever Bible seminar. But soon after that class ended, I had my first experience of being a backslidden Christian. The feeling of dullness and emptiness was worse than anything I’d known as an unbeliever. I pulled myself together in time to attend a week-long Christian festival in Ohio, fully intent on returning to Seattle when it was over. Then, on the last night of the festival, a call went out for volunteers for a year of missionary service anywhere within the United States. I distinctly remember sitting in that big tent half-listening to the recruitment spiel, absent-mindedly flipping through the pages of my Bible. Suddenly one verse seemed to jump off the page.

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:62)

Somehow I knew that I needed to volunteer. Of course it seemed completely outrageous to make such a rash decision, but my lack of planning was crucial to the experiment. A year in college had taught me that a lot of ideas look good on paper. And I’d come to realize that Christianity was an all-or-nothing proposition – nothing good came from being lukewarm. But before I devoted my life to God, I needed to test my newfound faith in a “sink or swim” way.

I can’t say to what extent my year as a missionary impacted the townspeople to whom I was sent, but it had a lasting impact on the rest of my life. In fact, of the people receiving this letter, two (Jack and Jan Schroeder) are people I met that year who have remained my friends ever since. And through all these years, I have continued to try to live out my faith in that same “sink or swim” way. I know that I fail God far more than I even realize, but I can say without hesitation that he has never failed me.

It is not that all the requests I make before the throne of God are granted. I used to think the key element to getting what I wanted from God was having a “don’t accept no for an answer” determination. (Again, some ideas sound good on paper!) Now I know that the key to having your prayers answered is asking for the right thing. Prayers are meant to align your desires to God, not vice-versa. Having all the resolve in the world makes no difference if you “ask amiss” (Jms 4:3). But when your prayer is “according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:11), you only need faith in the measure of a mustard seed. Any petition aligned to his will is sure to be granted.

Only God is all-knowing. As for me, I have only a general sense of my purpose in going to Uganda – to teach the principles of the doctrine of Christ to a group of young deacons who oversee some of the churches that our brother Henry Musana has founded. I don’t know much else. I know that Henry has poured his life into these churches, and he is trusting me to be a help and not a hindrance, to teach truth and not heresy. I know I will be successful only to the extent that I allow the Spirit to lead me both here at home as I prepare my lessons and there as I make my presentation. I know I should not be encouraged or discouraged by the immediate response of the students, but rather stay focused on obeying God.

I cringe every time I hear prayers telling God what he should do. I can’t imagine that God is pleased when we give him our unsolicited counsel. As he says in Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” How can our advice be useful to God when we only have a vague notion of his plan? How often have his solutions been predictable? The first time you heard the Exodus story, did you guess that the Israelites would escape through the Red Sea? The first time you read Acts, did you foresee Saul of Tarsus becoming Paul the apostle? Yes, I am asking you to pray for me during this mission, but as far as knowing what you should be asking for, let us simply ask for those things that are assured when we do our part:

For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isa. 55:10-11)

Let us pray that this mission goes according to plan… HIS plan!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your contribution to the efforts of Workers Together With Him as we enter our 25th year!

In the Service of His Majesty, the King of kings,
Tim Sullivan


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