Student Debt and the Great Commission

Much ink has been spilled in recent weeks over the US government plan to cancel (or reshuffle the responsibility of) some students’ educational debt. Whatever you may think of the proposal, here is one thing I know: Student debt is one of the greatest barriers to getting young people to the mission field. I am unaware of a mission agency prior to the year 2000 that would send missionaries who had education debt. After 2000, some agencies began to accept some units who had less than $20,000 in student debt. Nationwide, the average student debt load from 4 years in a private college is around $38,000, or $28,000 if you consider all schools (Forbes.com).

In a world where 3 Billion-with-a-capital-B people still have not had access to hear who Jesus is even one time, this is one barrier we cannot afford to ignore. Student debt impedes missions.

Yes, young people should plan well, save everything possible, consider alternative educational options, and work their tails off. But sometimes, the Lord saves and/or calls some missionaries after debt has been incurred, or from a vocation (like medicine) that requires significant schooling. Other times, a student’s family support is minimal. What ever the reason, debt is often incurred.

Enter The Go Fund. Around 2014, founder Luke Womack launched The Go Fund with the vision to assume the student debts of missionaries desiring to work among unreached people groups. Luke spoke in one of my classes in 2015, and I have been tracking their work since then.

Since those early days, 103 missionaries have been freed to go, $900,000 in debt has been repaid, and more than $5,000,000 in debts assumed. The Staff of The Go Fund raise up supporters who will be “Ropeholders,” regularly donating funds to eliminate the barrier of student debt. You can become a Ropeholder here.

Curious how the White House program will impact The Go Fund? Check out Luke’s letter to TGF supporters (its brilliant!). In short, the result will be, Lord willing, what our very lives should be all about: More people in more places hearing more about Jesus.

Psalm 67 

May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
that your way may be known on earth,
    your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you!

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for you judge the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you!

The earth has yielded its increase;
    God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us;
    let all the ends of the earth fear him!

4 comments

  1. Thank you for making the Gofundme letter available to read. It was very enlightening. This was my first time hearing about this organization and it’s work. I will research it more to learn more about it’s efforts and purpose. Sue Spratley

    Like

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