Friday, March 16, 2012

Why I'm Leaving the Voice of the Martyrs

Dear {Supervisor},

I told you a couple months ago that I was praying about resigning from the VVN when my year’s term of commitment is up in May.

I feel like the Lord is confirming that I should indeed resign then. I wanted to let you know in advance so that we can work together to make the transition as seamless as possible for the reps.

First of all, I want to make sure you know that I’m not leaving the VVN because of any problem with you, with VOM, or with any of my team. You have all been a delight to work with, and I feel like I have grown tremendously as a result of the training and opportunities that VOM has given me. I’ve experienced so many wonderful times with my VOM “family” and have memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life. Richard Wurmbrand’s writings have impacted me in ways that no other human writings have. I continue to believe that all Christians must support the persecuted church and that Tortured for Christ and the VOM newsletter are “required reading” for everyone. 

Here are the factors that have led to my decision.

First, getting to know the persecuted church better has shown me that they need far more than “tools”. They need models. Originally I naively imagined that all persecuted Christians were more or less junior versions of Richard Wurmbrand. Now I see that most of them have deep spiritual needs, not just physical needs. Sending dollars and blankets and even Bibles is not enough for me any more. Some day it would be my dream to actually live as a tentmaker in a restricted nation and disciple pastors and evangelists. 

Second, the Lord has opened my eyes to the strategic importance of strengthening the members of my own local church. It’s easy to “love” a persecuted Christian from afar, but quite another thing to love a Christian with whom you have to regularly interact. Yet, I have been realizing that the love of local believers for one another is one of the most important (and in my case, neglected) facets of evangelism. I am seeing the importance of strengthening persecuted churches, not just persecuted individuals. As you know, I have gotten more involved with ministry at church and so far, it’s been great. The experiences I had with VOM helped prepare me for it, and I hope that the experiences I am gaining in church ministry will in turn prepare me for better ministry to the persecuted church in the future.

Third, during the last year or so it seems that my VVN team has wilted under my oversight. I am down to just four active reps now. I think it would be best to transfer care of these reps to someone with fresh energy and vision. 

I will check with the inactive reps and ask them whether they think they may get active in the (near) future. If they say no (I’m pretty sure all 3 will), I’ll formally deactivate them as reps so that the new area coordinator doesn’t have to be the “bad guy”. 

Things are coming together for our annual “in person” team meeting to be held on Saturday, May 12th. This year, it will be in north Tucson. (Most of the active reps are now in southern Arizona so I thought it best to hold the meeting closer to them.)

My thought is to make that team meeting my last official act. This will give me a chance to say “goodbye” in a meaningful way and bring closure to what has been a wonderful season of my life. 

Your thoughts?

In the joy of the gospel,

Daniel B.
Area Coordinator (AZ, UT)
Voice Volunteer Network
The Voice of the Martyrs
"Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?" -- Leonard Ravenhill's tombstone.

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