Updated: Jun 15, 2019
"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you," Matthew 6:31-33.
When Overland pioneers into an area, our greatest focus is sharing the Gospel. But the Gospel brings with it promises of physical provision that are extended to all who believe. Much of this more “practical” Biblical wisdom is done by Overland’s Sustain department. “Sustain is founded on the truth we find in 2 Peter 1:3 which says, ‘His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,’” says Lauren B., a member of the Sustain team.
“We know that through Jesus, God has provided all we need to be reconciled back to the Father. But in observing the world…we often don’t see the abundant life, provided for in every way, which is promised to us! We want to see people come into the understanding that God has made a way for every need we have to be met. Every single one—whether spiritual, emotional, or physical, no exceptions. Our goal in the Sustain department is to see people walking in the fullness of God’s promises in a way that means their lives, their families, and their ministries are provided for.”
Missionaries like Lauren teach sustainability in finances, relationships, spiritual life, and, as well as, sustainable agriculture through Farming God’s Way. “We teach Farming God’s Way because in the places we work, many people are farmers. We don’t teach agriculture because we have some deep-rooted opinion about how people should farm, or because we’re pushing some agenda, or even because we hope they’ll listen to us if they’re better fed. We teach agriculture because God cares about every part of the lives of His people, and His people are farmers. He gave us farming as a gift (Genesis 2:15), to bless us and provide for us, and we know His promises hold true throughout all generations. It’s our joy to proclaim His goodness to His people, to see them reconciled to Him, and to see them step into the abundant life He always intended them to live.”
God’s provision extends to our physical bodies as well—after all, he calls himself “the LORD your Healer” (Exodus 15:26). Through our Life Project, Overland helps to promote the value of life and protect those who can’t protect themselves. Our God is a healer, and he uses us to accomplish that will on the earth. Manon K. of the Life Project puts it this way, “Within the Life Project, we are focused on how we can improve the health situation for the people around us. We help and teach in order to create a good and sustainable health care system.” The Life Project has trained hundreds of workers through their program Helping Babies Breath, which has greatly reduced the mortality rate amongst babies.
In Overland, we seek to minister to each person as a whole. While the spiritual side of ministry is incredibly important, God still cares about the physical needs of His children. He is present with us in the midst of our every-day needs, and through Sustain and the Life Project, we work to be present as well. We have found a way to effectively meet the needs of people and introduce tools for sustainable growth — not only in spirit and soul, but for the body as well.