Or, if i could have a long title, "Everything you wanted to know about the TallSkinnyKiwi and his money but were afraid he would ask".
I am writing this in response to a comment from a lovely housewife, and some others who asked me yesterday about my situation and how to help. If you dont want to know, dont continue reading.
*how* are you funded? where would a rich housewife like me send a check from her overinflated grocery budget?
How wonderful! Costco's loss is our gain and we could really use an infusion at times (like now, for example). The best way is for me to email you details, which i will today.
Right. I will try and stay brief and continue the honesty level we had in the last blog post. Not just regarding your questions but for many others that have been asking along similar lines.
How am i funded?
I am funded by two organizations that support me in part - they are great and wonderful groups that i love for different reasons, and we enjoy partnering together. My level of support is about 2/3's of what other missionaries are needing to stay in this city (by a CRM estimate). Of course the deflated dollar doesn't help at all.
The biggest need is usually travel expenses. Other groups have helped over the last few years in getting us plane tickets - The Texas Partnership Mission, Leadership Network. And our motorhome was donated by a Presbyterian church in Florida . Two churches have sent us some lovin' - Glenwood Community Church (Vancouver, WA) and Calvary Church (Winston-Salem, NC) towards our transport needs (an anonymous couple from NC helped us buy our van)
An amazing thing happened last year. My daughter Abigail developed diabetes and we had a huge hospital bill. I didnt want to ask anyone - feeling it my manly responsibility to figure out a way to raise the money. But news on my blog got out and other missionaries and their families, and Glenwood Community Church (again) insisted on sending money and it was enough to cover the whole bill.
So, we really do feel looked after. The BGCT is also working towards finding us some health coverage which will be greatly appreciated when it happens.
Why dont we have PayPal?
Because we lived in the Czech Republic last and Pay pal did not partner with that country - although we are now taking steps to prove that we live in England.
Why don't you use your savings?
Don't have any.
Sell your house?
Dont own one.
Get another job?
Overextended as it is.
Send the wife out to work?
No working visa, and she's kinda busy with the 5 kids.
Move into the poorest area of your city?
Why not come back to USA?
Maybe one day, but for now, I keep turning down offers in order to stay working close to the world's poor, and in the places that lack resources.
How many families, individuals or churches support you on a monthly basis?
Is it true you were named America's most well known and least supported missionary family?
Yes, Mark Scandrette called us that. Probably not true.
How many give occasional gifts?
Quite a few, especially when i travel through their cities, sleeping on their couches. God blessem all!
Do we need more money?
Yes, on occasions.
but i do have some Fears:
That i will not be good enough in accounting or tax receipting
That i will not be regular enough in reporting back
that i will not be as effective in ministry as my supporters expect
that when the support stops, the relationship will be endangered
and some Hangups;
That i might be exploiting the huge audience on my web site if i make my financial needs known
That there are young missionaries in India who survive on far less than me
and they might be doing a better job
and therefore God's money should be going to some of these "underground" national missionaries
and just because i have a voice on the internet and am "privileged" with technology, I get supported and they struggle to find the next meal for their family
while i am complaining about my lack of MHZ on my computer (only 500)
and they have never had a computer
or even a phone connection
That i may wrongly believe that God has a prophetic purpose for my occasional poverty
That i actually hate dealing with money and despise the moments when i have to spend it
That i am scared by money
scared of receiving too much
scared of raping the body of Christ for her money and having to face God one day to answer for a life lived over the limit of what Jesus would have lived,
That i think i am creative enough to somehow find a way to survive or do the ministry without a budget
That i am too stubborn to think differently
That i am too independent to allow others to partner adequately, and therefore share in the joy of the harvest with me
That i inherited an old-school view of finances from reading too many missionary biographies at an early age and am stuck in a Hudson Taylor RUT of "don't tell, just pray",
a rut that i should probably have jumped out of years ago.
a rut that has become a curse
That i sometimes value ministry over my families needs
That i think i am smart enough to figure out a solution
That i probably should have written books or something to make more money
That i am better at finding reasons for someone like you to NOT support me than i am telling you why you should
and i feel proud about that too
That i am happy to raise finances for other ministries but negligent and intimidated of raising my own
That i am so proud of "saving the world on a budget" and finding new ways to start ministries with nothing, that i miss out on part of God's provision and the relationships that are birthed through working together with people who are a part of the big picture puzzle.
People like you. . .
. . who have a better attitude towards money than i do
. . and should not be hindered by a twisted-up, middle-aged, prematurely-wrinkled skinny missionary who is living in a ridiculously expensive country with more kids than the law should allow and the has the gall to think he is important enough to be flying around the world on God-sent mission to transform the planet.
So if you can jump over those hurdles,
then i would welcome you to take a firm stance on your generosity
and i will email you the details of where to send the check
all the while thinking fondly of your family who will eat oatmeal this week rather than Coco Pops.
And, on behalf of my wife and my 5 kids, and the mouse that lives under our floorboards, I say a big
Thank you for caring
and assure you that you will be in our prayers and in our thoughts
and I will resist the temptation to think up ways to pay you back.