Am I a Lazy Missionary?

(The Story of Tim Kopp written by Mary Alysse Dodds)

61582_1278001929848_489998_nI’ll be 70 this year with no retirement. Since we went to Zambia in 72, supporters have been generously and faithfully giving to us. I wrestle with that. How long can I expect this?

If the support stopped now, I’d have to go out and get a job. The responsibility side of me and what I wrongfully think are people’s expectations sometimes grabs me by the nap of the neck and controls me. Out of guilt, duty, or expectations, I think I should be doing more.

God has given us so many reasons, health problems, doctors’ orders, limitations to help us stop traveling, leading, teaching, doing missionary things. He’s given us the freedom to just be his children and enjoy mentoring from our home and deck.

We lead some small groups and prayer meetings, teach, and sometimes travel, but we accomplish so much less than we used to. Sometimes I wonder if the neighbors see me sitting on the deck, going on a shog (shuffle/jog), or riding my motor bike and think, “Who’s paying this guy? What a cushy job.”

I send our quarterly report to SIM, and they say, “Thanks.” No complaints. Our regional director is absolutely fine with what we’re doing.

12970838_10204401634680642_6542660981440038342_oI know the expectations are from me and not God. I know God is gracious, loving, and caring, and he cares more about us being than doing. I know Jesus’ ministry wasn’t about a 40-hour work week or Lancaster County work ethic. But sometimes it’s a struggle to be okay with where we are now.

Then right out of the blue, our supporters say they’ll do things for us. A friend in the UK asked how our electronics were doing.

“Well frankly my computer’s getting slower and slower, ready to die, testing my patience…” Long story short, he bought us a new computer.

Another lady who’s had post-concussive syndrome like my wife, Carol, offered to pay for brain mapping. When the doctor said there was extensive damage, we wondered how we’d pay for the $100-a-pop treatments.

When we got back, a couple who started supporting us in their retirement had sent us $5,000. They were talking on their way back from vacation about giving God more. They got home, found an unexpected inheritance check, and decided to give us $5,000.

Then I eat humble pie before the Lord. I went down the expectations road again. I shouldn’t have gone down that road.

All of these things serve as confirmation that we are where God wants us right now. Ten years from now, I’ve not a clue. I don’t even know about a year from now. Right now, this is where we’re to be.

1936177_1020757018886_8005266_nI never would have given myself the license to be here, just mentoring, enjoying what we love. But God did.

Tim Kopp is a missionary, husband, father, and mentor. Born and raised Zambia, he spent 15 years in the bush with his wife and children, he’s taught at ministry schools, he’s served in missionary leadership for SIM around the world, and he now mentors from his deck. Tim is wise, witty, and loves to hear the sound of his motor bike while he drives through the meadow. 

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