Maybe you have been receiving the DML emails this past month as we have been raising funds for scholarships to help pastors and business owners attend the DML trainings. These trainings release them to do work as an act of worship, with support and discipling from the church. Last year, we trained more than 3,000 pastors, 4,200 seminary students, and 8,800 business owners in fourteen countries! We couldn’t do this without you! We have not yet reached our goal of raising $30,000 in 30 days for scholarships and so we submit this request for your prayerful consideration. Please go here for more information.
While the scholarships go to those who are not able to pay for the training themselves, we continue to see and hear that this ministry is needed in the global church, irrespective of income or location. The stories that DML has been telling over the past month have been focused on the majority world, but today I want to tell you a story that is much closer to home.
Bill was a member of my church in Grand Rapids. He and his wife faithfully served as the church bookkeepers for thirty years. As a former deacon and member on council, I got to know them in that capacity. I knew that Bill’s wife, Nancy, worked at an architectural firm as she helped my daughter get a summer job there, but I never learned (or asked) where Bill worked. To be honest, as an accountant, I assumed he worked in an accounting firm.
But we all know what happens when we assume. And yup…that happened to me here.
Bill and Nancy have been regular supporters of DML and Bill will often send a short response to my blogs, which always encourages me. A few weeks ago, he responded to one of my blogs from India, saying that he thought recycling pallets might be a good business idea for India. Curious, I asked him where such a random idea came from. And that was when he told me that he worked for a company called Kamps Pallets for the past thirty years. After looking them up online, I immediately asked him if he could give me a tour of the place and he obliged.
And wow. Amazing stuff! This company was started by the owner (a Christian) who noticed pallets in the dump here in Grand Rapids and pulling them aside to repair and sell them. It has now grown into having 400 national facilities across the US, with more than 2000 employees. This makes them one of the largest pallet companies in the country. Much of their work includes recycling everything, right down to the used nails! I watched the employees put together a pallet from recycled wood in about 30 seconds!
As I heard the story, I could hear the Christian values that underlie how this company works. I saw the scripture in the conference room. Bill told me that you don’t have to be educated or speak English to work at this place, and since the work is “piece-rate pay” (which means that every pallet dismantled, built, or board cut is paid a price for the unit that is completed), they don’t have to spend as much money on supervisors as everyone is internally motivated to be as productive as they can be – and they are therefore well-paid! It seemed clear to me that this company is a very large parish, with the potential to do good work that helps businesses, is good for the environment, caring for many employees and therefore their families, with a desire to serve God.
At the end of my tour, I asked Bill whether he felt the support of the local church in this work, and like most others, he said no. He had been affirmed for the bookkeeping work that he did for the church but he wasn’t even sure how many people (including me!) knew what he did from Monday-Saturday.
I believe it is high time for this to change! The purpose of the church is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, which doesn’t just happen in the four walls of the church, but it happens as we each enter our own mission field, in our own unique settings, during the week.
If that message resonates with you, and you would like to see people supported and discipled by their church, please join us by giving to our scholarship campaign today! And if you have already given, thank you! And if you can’t give financially, please continue to pray for our teams and trainers who continue to reach as many people as they can with this empowering message.