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Deputationland by Al Gruber Deputation is not just about going around the country begging churches for support. It is so much more! Yes, we missionaries need financial support to get to our respective fields. Asking for support is a humbling thing to do for most people. We looked for churches that want to get behind us as a family and who want to be a part of our ministry. We wanted to know the pastor and his family so that we could pray for them and their ministry. We desired to know the people in the churches who are praying for us. So, in this sense, deputation is a spiritual Al and Tami Gruber public relations venture, letting people know who we are and where we are headed while getting to know them. We do understand that this experience is sent from God. He is ultimately in control of which churches partner with us, but we must do our part. Deputation is also a faith building adventure. Without a guaranteed income we are in a blessed place of trusting the Lord to supply our daily needs! As Christians it is easy t0 get the attitude that “I can take care of myself” rather than waiting on God to supply the things we need. Some things we just want; they are not actual needs. Living by faith is not just for those in paid ministry or for missionaries. It should be for all Christians! It is truly exciting to see God answer prayers, and it is peaceful knowing that He is in control and will take care of us. While on deputation we enjoyed seeing how churches format their worship services. We are thankful that our children have participated in so many different services. Some were more enjoyable than others but it was a blessing to be with fellow believers across the country. Learning to be flexible was vital. The structured life we once knew was out the door. This too prepared us for the foreign field and for ministry in general. Some churches had us quite busy in their conferences; other conferences were more relaxing, which gave us time to regain our strength (and sanity) both physically and spiritually. Traveling with school-aged children brought along other problems, but again flexibility is key. We ended up traveling in an RV and that was a HUGE blessing from the Lord. It provided us a place just to be a family. It was also our school house. Deputation taught us many lessons for ministry. To sum up our thoughts about deputation, for us it was a time of learning, faith building, and forming new friendships. As I write this, we are two days away from flying to the Dominican Republic permanently! Our next “adventure” is just beginning! Islander – No 1, 2012 7