What to do?

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by NaasPreacher (C4K), Nov 4, 2007.

  1. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Alright - first of all this is NOT a plea for help or a pity party. The Lord knows our needs and is well able and is faithful to provide.

    But, from a practical standpoint and member for many years of a mission's committee in the States I would like to examine an issue.

    Yesterday the euro hit another new record high against the dollar. It costs $1.45 to buy a euro yesterday. It was $1.24 in January. This means that the buying power of dollar support has dropped about 18% since the first of the year. I assume that the situation is the same all over the world.

    My question is this - what does a caring church do to help? When every one of your missionaries has in essence lost 18% of their support in the last 10 months how do you help?

    I know that on this side we notice the problem - but also know that our churches are full of caring people who are also aware.

    What is a church to do?
     
  2. Mexdeaf

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    Roger,

    Sorry, no answers here, but maybe a little discussion will help.

    IMHO, from a practical standpoint it falls to the missionary's sending (home) church pastor to be aware of this problem, and if possible make up the shortfall. I have many missionary friends who are in the same boat, and each one tells me that it is difficult to make supporting pastors (as opposed to 'sending' pastors) aware of the situation without, as you stated, sounding like a 'pity party'.

    But OTOH, if the shoe were on the other foot and the pastor's were the ones facing the budget bullet, I don't know too many who would resist dipping into the "M" fund (or even eliminating it entirely!) to make ends meet. I have seen it happen far too often- as a matter of fact I just got one of those 'Dear John' letters this past month.

    Yes, we know the Lord will provide but that does not make the 'belt-tightening' experience any more pleasant.
     
  3. SaggyWoman

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    Belt tightening is one thing, but when you don' t got it, you don't got it. I think making sure that sponsoring churches/organizations are aware of the changes in the euro and give support based on this.

    Maybe encouraging special one time extra offerings or making the needs known.
     
  4. exscentric

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    Have always thought it was the sending church that is responsible to let other contributors know of the problem. Or in the case of a good mission the head of the mission.

    Most givers don't know of the problem and a wake up letter might bring about further giving.

    A nice letter sharing the problem, seeking prayer and encouraging the consideration of a giving increase is not out of line.

    The media here doesn't mention that sort of things much so people just don't know.
     
  5. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I know - but too many folks see missionaries as money grubbers always looking for a free hand out. I have never asked fo funds in a prayer letter and hesitated bringing the issue up here. I don't know who could send the letter effectively, but that is a thought.
     
  6. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    I agree that the sending church or mission board should be made aware of the need, and let them send the letters. That way it doesn't look like the missionary is begging for himself.
     
  7. following-Him

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    Is the financial situation for missionaries not reviewed regularly buy the pastor/deacons of the sending church? That way the missionary/ies concerned would not find themselves in the position of whether or not to ask for additional funds.

    Would it not be an idea for the sending church to agree that particular notification is required if a situation changes but a specified percentage?

    Just some thoughts

    Blessings

    following-Him
     
  8. Mexdeaf

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    That is an excellent suggestion. But truth is many sending pastors are loathe to get very involved in the lives of their own missionaries. And many missionaries would chafe at the 'oversight'.
     
  9. following-Him

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    Thank you for your comments. I think that when a church sends a missionary then it should be understood and agreed that if that missionary finds himself and his church in financial difficulties above and beyond what may have been anticipated then it should be possible for the missionary to go back to his sending church with his changed circumstances. I appreciate that the sending church might not want to be too involved in monitoring the missionary but it is the missionary who is best placed to know just what impact the changed circumstances are having on himself and his ministry.

    I would think that a sending church would be wanting their missionary to be fulfilling his calling and serving the Lord rather than worrying about if , when and how to go back to his church for additional financial support.

    My understanding (limited though it may be) is that sending a missionary is just the beginning of obedience to a calling. The sending pastor and church have a continuing responsibility to that servant -and communication has to be two - way.

    Blessings

    following-Him
     
  10. pops

    pops
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    what to do

    I have made several posts on what to do - under missionary support. The summary is don't wait for someone else to solve the problem of underfunding. You can Help. You can give your favorite missionary $10 or $15 per month out of your own funds - remember every little bit counts and you wont miss it!
    most missionaries work with various organizations like:
    http://www.worldventure.com/
    http://www.ntm.org/
    http://www.village-missions.org/
    http://www.wycliffe.org/
    http://www.missionsdoor.org/index.php

    These organizations assist you in locating a field. Then you go out and raise sufficient funds to support yourselves and your family by visiting and speaking to a LOT of churches to raise support. A 'Home' church is the church where you are a member and the place where you started to get support. If your 'home church is really big it can afford to fully fund you but normally this is not the case and you go out until you have somewhere between 80 and 100 percent of your support raised. Most missionaries that I know don't bother with the larger churches because of the organizational structure that you have to get through just to arrange to speak let alone asking for funds! - a major time lag!. OK now you have raised your funds and you find yourself instead of in a jungle community but in a major country in Europe and next year your dollars are not worth as much - so 'What to Do'? You 1. pray that someone notices the notation on the bottom of your monthly email or letters that say 'additional funding needed' or words to that affect. or 2. wait until your next stateside trip and raise more. etc etc...

    It might surprise you but missionaries have medical needs, dental needs the cost for which continually increase and of all things sometime would like to get away for a week or so, So contact your missions and ask how you can help. Call your churches missions committee and ask if they have included some kind of cost of living raise in next years budget.
    I have never never heard a missionary referred to as a money grubber and if I did I can guarantee you I would be 'in their face' quickly.
    The above links have missionary lists and perhaps you could adopt one of them.
     
    #10 pops, Nov 6, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2007
  11. exscentric

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    Now on the other side of what I mentioned, you should be aware that if the dollar gains tons of strength (Ya right :) you can be sure they will want to see about a cut to keep you in line with normal :tonofbricks:


    Now if that should happen, submit to their wisdom, but suggest that they stick the excess they are no longer sending in an account for their missionaries when things get tough again :thumbs:
     
  12. following-Him

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    I was wondering if there was an update on this situation?

    Blessings

    following-Him
     
  13. DHK

    DHK
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    I have noticed the weakness of the American dollar world-wide. Two or three years ago the Canadian dollar was worth only 62 cents. That means that one thousand American would yield 1500 Canadian. But now the Canadian dollar is at par, and a few months ago was worth more than the American. A few months ago one thousand dollars American would only give 900 Canadian. Missionaries to Canada have been greatly affected by this disparity. A loss of 500 dollars a month (per thousand) is nothing to sneeze at.
     
  14. following-Him

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    I recollect that when in a previous church a missionary family shared a need with us and a love offering was taken up for them. We were not the only sending church, the missionaries being supported by various churches in the area, but we were only to glad to help and pleased that they shared their need with us.

    I would like to think that something similar would happen in this case also. Sending churches can only act on what they know about.

    Blessings

    following-Him
     
  15. Fred Moritz

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    Bottom line - the churches have to get the vision. I work with a mission agency and we have written letters for individual missionaries and we have documented the need in our publications to the general public. The problem is world-wide.

    My pastor (and the pastor of Roger's sending church) has challenged our people to increase their faith promise giving to meet the needs.

    One time offerings are a temporary help, but they are only a "band-aid." The problem has been going on now for two or three years. Increased support is the real answer. I think churches are beginning to see the need, but there is "lag time" for them to catch up.

    This is largely due to US government fiscal policy. Devaluating the dollar helps our foreign trade balance, and brings tourists to the US. Missionaries are one small segment of the whole picture, and they are hurt on the other end of it.
     

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