Since retirement as Nazarene Missionaries to Bolivia in 1998, Larry and Judy Webb created the Maverick Work and Witness (W&W) program. They have since led 34 (and counting) Maverick teams to help international churches develop their facilities.
The name "Maverick" comes from a Civil War-era term referring to adult cattle that missed their branding. Their true owners were unidentified. If a cowboy could find, rope, and brand that animal, he could claim it; and many Texans returning from the war got their start doing just that. In short: a Maverick is a very valuable potential asset.
Unlike “traditional” W&W teams that are sponsored by and organized within a local church or district, Maverick teams include individuals from all over. A single team's members may originate from Upstate New York, Alaska, California, Oklahoma, etc.
Each Maverick participant contributes $500 toward construction materials, which is processed through the General Treasurer of the Church of the Nazarene and forwarded to the project site. From there, the money is to be utilized by the national church at their discretion to facilitate the project.
A New Twist – Maverick Proxies
While life circumstances do not allow everyone to participate in Work & Witness adventures physically, there are many other ways to contribute. Maverick “proxies” give those with a heart for missions a unique sponsorship opportunity.
Many have been given a chance to participate in a W&W trip through such sponsorship, including university students, pastors, and even two doctors from Bolivian districts who had a passion for serving Christ cross-culturally.
These Bolivian “proxies” donated ten days of their lives to serve through a pioneer project in the Amazonia region of Bolivia. This particular project helped develop a multi-purpose church and Student Center for university students.
Building the Kingdom
While construction is often a part of these Work and Witness trips, Mavericks don’t sign up with a promise to build a building. Their primary promise is to help move the project and the mission of Christ forward.
While many Mavericks do have construction skills and participate in building projects, construction skills are not a pre-requisite. A heart for missions is!
Aside from construction, other ministry outreach opportunities include employing local doctors, dentists, and eye specialists to host medical clinics right on the job site. Meeting practical needs helps attract individuals from the surrounding community who otherwise might never approach because they feel they don't "belong."
Through the ministry of these vital medical consultations, the local pastor now has a priceless opportunity to build rapport and to counsel and pray with the community, enhancing the probability of future interaction. Mavericks also sponsor afternoon Children's Activities and evening JESUS Film presentations.
Over 400 Mavericks (and counting), ranging in age from 3 to 95, have participated in these Work and Witness trips. Every participant has a unique ministry brought together by one unified purpose: to connect worldwide communities to the Kingdom of God.
Larry Webb is a retired Nazarene missionary living in Nampa, Idaho.
Please note: This article was originally published in January 2018. All facts, figures, and titles were accurate to the best of our knowledge at that time but may have since changed.