Everyone loves to hear of a great comeback story, be it an individual overcoming adversity to make it back on top, a favorite music group returning to the stage, or a sports team returning to its former glory. We love it because we appreciate how hard it is to repeat success. Athletes age, teams change players, and taste preferences in music seem to change with the fashions. So when the comeback happens, we realize that we a receiving a gift, something truly special.
Allow me to let you in on a comeback in progress…
This last year, I ran a marathon. I finished in the best time in which I’d ever run a marathon: 3 hours 37 minutes and 52 seconds. It was a great moment. However, that run has left me on the sidelines, stuck with a leg injury that has persisted for 3 months and counting. On top of that, during my examination, my doctor found that I also have arthritis in my ailing right leg, perhaps complicating my recovery. Some would say it’s time to hang up the running shoes. I say it’s time for a comeback.
Six months ago, we were on the field in Mexico wrapping up our first term as missionaries in the state of Yucatan. We were elated to have played a small part in the successes in the lives of students and pastors with whom we had ministered. We had built relationships and were looking toward opportunities to leverage these successes in future ministry. However, eight months away from our scheduled return date, we have a mountain of monthly support to raise, currently at the height of some $2,000. Some would despair at such a goal to reach. I say, “It’s comeback time.”
So rally cap in place, I’m starting the process to return, understanding that the recipe for success probably will change. As I built up for the marathon last year. I added on mileage slowly but surely until I reached a 50 mile per week peak during my high intensity marathon training. This time, I’ve got more than a mileage buildup to concern myself with. I’ve got an injury to figure out and a recovery to plan. So, I’m currently going through physical therapy twice a week with the goal to return to running. I’m also looking to alternative methods to promote healing from self-massage to chiropractic care. I’m also dedicating myself to nutrition, making sure that my tank is full of the fuel I need to power this comeback. Do I have a timetable? Sure, I’d like to see myself in a 10k race some time this spring.
Our return to Mexico can be thought of similarly. We’ve come back to the States to raise our budget in an economic recession, meaning many potential donors are feeling the budgetary pinch. We’re also returning to a Southern Missouri District that has 7 other missionary families currently raising support at the same time we are. However, we live in a time where connections are more diverse and easily sustainable and potential audiences are more abundant. We plan to leverage these connections, networking as we are able to reach these future partners, and maintaining that partnership with them through tools we never dreamed of only four years ago.
Of course, in all of this, one thing has not changed. We serve the same God who is able to to exceedingly and abundantly more than we ask, think or imagine. So while we work on this comeback as though it all depended on us, we pray knowing that it all depends upon Him. He is the one who provides the breakthroughs, stirs hearts, and cements friendships through whatever medium those contacts occur.
So I’m making a comeback, physically and ministerially, and I’m committed to putting in the work, while depending on God for the results. Wanna come along? There’s still room on the bandwagon!
How about you? Are you poised for a comeback? How do you see it happening? Have any tips that we all could benefit from?
Photo: Rally Cap by Rich Anderson