Today we hear from Joey Espinosa, another faithful member of our team who, like us, is committed to making sacrifices to see the gospel preached in PNG.
Why We Partner with the Osborns
Unlike some of the Osborns’ supporters, we were not super close with them when they lived in Greenville. I went to Furman with Elizabeth’s older brother (I taught him everything I know about chemistry, and nothing I know about music). I worked with Joseph (when he was called “Philly”) on staff at our church for a couple of years. They had one or two of our kids when they served in the Grace nursery on Sunday mornings.
But other than that, our lives did not overlap that much. So why did we want to support their family? It was not so much because of a close personal connection, but because we wanted to be connected with their mission for Christ’s kingdom.
I’ll never forget reading the tweet from Joseph during the summer of 2011, saying they had arrived in PNG. Our own family had just begun to settle into to our “mission field” – Allendale, SC. We had already felt some of the pain of being separated from our community, including our church, our family, and our friends.
Whereas we had only weeks of preparation before moving to Allendale, the Osborns had been planning this adventure for years. We had already committed to supporting them financially, years before they actually went. But last year, as we began to understand the magnitude of their sacrifice, we decided to increase our support for them.
We thought being three hours away from Greenville was tough. We thought we were making a sacrifice in order to spread the gospel. But as soon as I learned of their arrival in their new home (thousands of miles away from here), I thought, “What are they doing?!?! They must be crazy!”
The five Osborns (now six), had laid aside all worldy ambitions, in order to spread the gospel. What greater purpose could one have but to bring the truth of Jesus to a people who have no knowledge of Him? When it’s all said and done, they will have lived in PNG a significant portion of their lives. They will have introduced many people to Jesus. They will have brought hope and life to a country of darkness.
Speaking from experience, there are many things that the Osborns are giving up in order to serve on God’s mission–relationship with extended family, true community, sitting under solid Biblical teaching, Sonic Real Fruit Slushes, etc. And I understand the burden Joseph must feel as a husband and father, being just as concerned for the well-being of his family as he is for God’s call.
But, the last thing I think that Joseph needs to worry about is having to cut short their mission because of insufficient financial resources. That’s why we support the Osborns, and why others should as well.