MENU

Cutting the Coal: One Man’s Lifelong Call to Missions

By Staff, Dec 12, 2017

Years ago, at the height of World War II, British coal miners were threatening to go on strike—an act which would have dramatically hurt the war effort. Winston Churchill came to the coal miners and gave a speech to encourage them. At one point in his speech, the ever-eloquent Churchill said:

“We will be victorious. We will preserve our freedom. And years from now when our freedom is secure and peace reigns, your children and your children’s children will say to you, ‘What did you do to win the freedom of World War II?’ One will say, ‘I marched for the 8th Army.’ Another will say, ‘I was a fighter pilot,’ another ‘I was in the submarine service.’ And you, in your turn, will say with equal pride and equal right, ‘I cut the coal that fueled the ships, that moved the supplies. That’s what I did: I cut the coal.’”

We too are in the midst of a great struggle, though for the kingdom of heaven. And each of us has a part to play. Some of us are called to go as missionaries, some are called to send, supporting missionaries financially or relationally, and some are called to lead our churches to be passionate supporters of global missions. Each of us who follow our call, whether to the middle of Africa or to the suburbs of Atlanta, can say with equal right, “This is missions.”

Some, like George,* seem called to just about everything.

Born in Latin America, George attended a private school and served in the army before his spiritual journey began. After coming to Christ under the discipleship of a Christian missionary, he moved to the U.S. to attend a Christian college, completing his master’s degree and launching a career as a teacher in California.

During his time as a teacher, a number of things happened. First, George was providentially able to acquire an apartment building, which provided him a supplementary income for over 30 years. Secondly, he became very involved in the missions program of his local church, supporting up to 30 missionaries at a time out of his combined income from the apartment building and teaching.

After retiring from his teaching career, George felt called to serve as a missionary himself. He and his wife moved back to the country of his birth, working with indigenous, unreached people groups in the jungle for over 15 years, even writing an authoritative book about the tribal people groups they encountered. When his wife eventually became ill, they moved back to the U.S. and lived in George’s apartment building until her death. Even as George grew older, every winter he returned to his home country to spread the good news of the gospel.

When his own health finally began to deteriorate, George had to move out of his apartment building and into a senior living center. He needed to provide for his own care, but also wanted to continue to support the advancement of the gospel through missions. The logical thing to do was to sell the apartment building, but George realized that if he sold the building outright, a great deal of the proceeds would go to the federal and state government in capital gains taxes, reducing both the amount he could keep to care for himself, and the amount that could go to support his missionaries.

George turned to MTW’s Center for Estate and Gift Planning for assistance, and together they came up with a plan—a zero tax sale. The building was sold, and George kept one part of the proceeds for himself, while another part went into a charitable trust. The tax deduction for the amount put into the trust offset the capital gains tax, providing cash for George with no tax depletion, and allowing him to buy into a residential care facility. Simultaneously, quarterly income from the trust now provides for more than his needs and still continues to support 14 missionaries. At George’s death, the trust will go into a fund that will continue to provide support for these missionaries for the entire term of their service.

Over the course of his 97 years, George has served in the struggle for the kingdom of God in multiple ways. He has been the soldier on the front lines, translating the Bible in the jungle to reach the unreached. And he has been the man “cutting the coal,” supplying the fuel—the funds that enable many others to advance the gospel across the globe. His life has been a well-lived testimony of faithful stewardship to the many calls of missions. 

MTW has resources available for donors interested in long-term planning. Visit MTW’s Center for Estate and Gift Planning to learn more.  

*Name has been changed to preserve privacy.  

 

Please login to continue
Forgot your password?
Recover it here.
Don't have an account?
Create an Account
Sign Up for Free
Name
Email
Choose Password
Confirm Password

GET INVOLVED

Explore Your Global Calling in Kigali, Rwanda
Summer Internships
Experience Life in the Middle East
Summer Internships
Mentored Internship in Central Asia
Summer Internships

I Can Feel You Smiling

I spent Friday afternoon with 15 of the most beautiful people in the world. All were early beneficiaries of Ethiopia ACT.

SEE MORE

One Day on Mission in Fiji (VIDEO)

MTW Australasia missionaries ventured to Fiji for a gathering of Island to Island partners to dream and strategize about the mission.

SEE MORE

4 Ways to Avoid Colonialism on the Mission Field

For those preparing for global missions, increasing your cultural sensitivity is an important part of your preparation.

SEE MORE

Pray for the Ethiopia ACT project, which cares for the sick and vulnerable in Addis Ababa. Pray for staff and for participants.

Pray for the Island to Island partnership bringing together Pacific Islands nations for a coordinated gospel effort. Pray for churches in Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and the Cook Islands. 

Pray that as we engage people globally with cultural sensitivity, that they would be open to relationships with MTW missionaries and, more importantly, open to the truth of the gospel.

Pray for those in Vina del Mar, Chile, devastated by raging wildfires, particularly those involved with our CEMIPRE ministry to the blind and differently-enabled.

Pray for those who God is reaching in Sydney with the truth of a grace-based gospel.

Pray for internationals from around the world living in Brussels, Belgium, and for the MTW team working there to reach them with the truth of Christ.

Pray that people engaging with MTW's efforts globally would not only be drawn into a relationship with Christ, but also into the local church.

Pray for Immanuel Church in Brentwood, West London, and for the surrounding community, that God would strengthen believers and draw people to Himself.

Pray for Japan in the wake of the Sea of Japan earthquake, that God would bring comfort and healing to those impacted, and that He would use it to draw people to Himself.

Pray for students involved with the campus ministry Student Outreach to the World in Sydney. For God to bring many to faith and maturity. 

SUBSCRIBE TO STORIES & MORE

Good news in your inbox, once per week.