Exchange rates for missionaries

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Karen, Feb 8, 2004.

  1. Karen

    Karen
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    Right now, for example, the U.S. dollar vs. the British pound is exceptionally weak.
    If you are an American missionary not in the U.S., does your mission board adjust for currency fluctuations, or do you just have to roll with it?

    Karen
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    roll with it - the dollar has lost 25% against the euro in the last year
    but, you know what? The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble,and He knowth them that trust in Him - Nahum 1v7
     
  3. SaggyWoman

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    indeed, God is in control of the dollar, the euro, the pound.
     
  4. Karen

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  5. Karen

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  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I really appreciate your heart Karen. The challenges are very real. We have experienced what amounts to a 25% pay cut in the last 12 months.

    God is good, but I do think there could be more sensitivity to issues such as you address.
     
  7. rbrent

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    Should supporters decrease missionary support when the dollar is strong - and put the extra money in a special fund to be used to level out missionary income when the dollar is weak?
     
  8. Karen

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    In my opinion, the answer would be no. Partly because what has been pledged to them should be held to.

    Consider the value of what the missionaries are doing for the cause of Christ. If we are generous with them when we can be so without cost to us, then we have only done the minimum. If we are generous with them when they are in need and we have to give a little more, then we have done the right thing.

    On the practical side, even when the dollar is strong, there are still a lot of items that still cost far more than expected. I found that when we have traveled to the UK, many everyday household items were surprisingly more expensive. Many food items are double in price.
    When I was in the UK last, and the dollar was a lot stronger than now, the equivalent price of gasoline was about $4.80. Now the price of a gallon of gas is over $6. So even when the dollar is strong, it does not go near as far as it would in the U.S. There is no free ride when paying people to live in many countries.

    Secular companies routinely make adjustments to keep overseas employees from economic harm. Churches need to do likewise.

    Karen
     
  9. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Saying all of that there are cases where missionaries raise a huge cushion of support to protect themselves for situations like a weak dollar. I appreciate rbrent's question and its honesty. After nine years on the field our support has fluctuated, but it is back to a little worse than it was when we first got here. The problem is inflation. Few churches have a regular plan for a cost of living increase due to inflation. The exchange level may be back to where it was, but there has been 30+% inflation over that time. God does supply and I would not complain, just more things to think about since the discussion came up.
     
  10. j_barner2000

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    I pray that all who support missionaries are educated in the basics of economics and realize that just as their buying power is affected by exchange rates, inflation etc., so is a missionarie's. Perhaps there is a way to educate congregannts of this dynamic?
     
  11. Hardsheller

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    The International Mission Board of the SBC provides for Missionaries' personal financial needs with periodic Cost of Living adjustments depending on the rise and fall of the American Dollar on the world market.

    However as the Dollar's value declines the Missions Operating Budgets are adversely affected as more and more monies are channeled into the COL's.
     
  12. j_barner2000

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    You know, The more I learn about the SBC... The more glad I become that God has led me to join and serve through SBC churches.
     
  13. Karen

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    Amen,
    A missionary family I know of in Brazil, that is not SBC, has sometimes really struggled without adjustments available.

    Karen
     
  14. SaggyWoman

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    I think the SBC way of supporting missionaries is one of the best ways to support missions.
     

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