We were just thinking back to our days BSA (kind of like BK = Before Kids, BSA = Before South Africa!) and thinking about our involvement in missions. Nancy remembered when she was a little girl and her parents would invite missionaries to their home for Sunday dinner, usually shake ‘n bake chicken, and she’d listen to their stories about Africa and other exciting places. Their family contributed things to the church missionary cupboard and sometimes she would go with her mom to the missionary quilting bee. We may even be the proud owners of one of those quilts!
After we were married, we did some of those same things as we tried to grasp what missions is all about. We chuckled remembering the first missionaries we ever had over for supper as a young married couple. We had used much of our grocery budget to buy steaks for the grill and were so upset when they burned! It didn’t matter because when the missionaries arrived, we learned they were vegetarian (a lesson to tuck away for later). We were also faithful in giving to the church, knowing that some of our offerings went toward supporting missionaries. But the truth is, prior to becoming missionaries ourselves, we never directly supported a missionary financially thru monthly donations. We’re not sure why other than no one asked us to.
So here’s the deal, we’re starting a letter-writing campaign to raise additional monthly support and we’re afraid the people we write to will “go weird on us.” You know, that awkwardness you feel when you see someone again and it seems like there’s an elephant in the room? Don’t you hate that! Well, so do we.
These Statistics Don’t Lie
Since we became missionaries in 1998, fund-raising in evangelical church circles has experienced a major shift. For instance, we went to South Africa in 2001 with 27 churches supporting us which amounted to 90% of our total support. We also had 10 individual supporters that made up the remaining 10%. At the end of 2011, ABWE’s records show the average missionary leaving for the field had 12 supporting churches, representing 44% of their financial support, and a whopping 47 individuals, representing the remaining 56%. That’s a major swing from the days when we raised support.
As missionaries in South Africa for the past 11 years we have lived totally dependent on God’s people for our financial welfare and we still have the majority of supporters we had when we first started. God has met our every need each step of the way. We have an amazing team of churches and people who support our mission, for which we are most grateful. However, to continue our current ministries as well as the added ministries of Regional Administrator of Southern Africa, additional financial support is necessary.
Supporter Campaign $600 in 60 Days
So, as of June 1 a new individual supporter campaign will begin and run through July 31. That’s 60 days in which to raise $600 of new monthly support. If 12 new people take us on for $50 a month we can meet our goal. What would it take to have you join our missions team as we partner together to reach Southern Africa for Christ? If this is something you would like to consider or you need more information, please let us know. You can write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (614) 592-6972. We will be on our mini-furlough in the states through mid-August. We would love to interact with you about “the elephant in the room” and answer any questions you have… that way we can both move forward without feeling “weird” about this. Our web site at www.onerwe.com has some valuable information tabs that will help with other details about our ministry.
Our next blog article… Lord willing… will include some encouraging words from people who have joined or are already a part of our support team.