“How Is Your Support Level?” – Questions You Can Ask a Missionary, Part 1
Our friends (and fellow missionaries) Keith and Lori Doster recently linked to an article about stressors that missionaries face. The original article is called 12 Questions You Can Ask a Missionary to Help Them Stay on the Field. Missionaries are not unique to these stressors; however, they do face them in situations where they often feel vulnerable and lonely.
If you know any missionaries, I encourage you to support and encourage them by asking one or more of these questions (but not all 12 at once!). For the sake of our friends, supports, and blog-readers, I wanted to proactively answer these questions over the next few months. (Of course, feel free to ask us these questions personally.)
Question 1: “How is your support level these days?”
We get this question regularly from friends and supporters. I have a hard time answering, because I hate asking for money for ourselves. But I have to remember the words that Joseph Osborn (another friend and missionary) told me, “You are not asking for yourself. You are asking for the people of Allendale.”
Before I answer the question about our financial situation, let me give a little background.
How We Started Fund-Raising
Unlike most missionaries, we didn’t have years or months to raise funds. We moved to Allendale after a few weeks of consideration. We didn’t even ask for money until after I began living and working in Allendale.
In a sense, the quick turnaround may have played to our advantage. Instead of having to cast a vision of what we planned to do, we were able to say, “Here’s what we already are doing. Now, we are asking for your partnership and support so we can keep doing it.”
We started receiving donations in February 2011. Whether I had one 35-hour-per-week job, or four jobs at once, we have always needed additional financial support. And our family, friends, and church body have been exceedingly responsive and generous. Almost 40 individuals and families have supported us with regular contributions, with another 20 or so who have made 1- or 2-time gifts.
You’ve Been Generous to Us, and to Allendale
Sometimes we have asked for additional resources. When we needed additional money for the summer of 2012, we got it. When we asked for money for Healthy Learners, or a boy who had a house fire, you stepped up. We have asked for and received gift cards, school supplies, vacuum cleaners, sports equipment, and more.
We are overwhelmed and encouraged by the generosity of those who have supported us financially.
Back to the Question . . .
So, how is our support level? Well, since we started receiving donations, we have never been in dire need. Some months we receive more, and some months we receive less, so we adjust our budget accordingly.
Even though I hate asking for money, we still do need your support. For those who are giving, please continue to do so. And if you want to partner with us in God’s work in Allendale, please check out our Financial Support page, and/or contact me.
Thank you for relieving this stressor for our family.
- When You Give . . .
- Thankful for Your Support
- Why We Support the Osborns
- FAQ: How Long Will You Need Financial Support?
- Financial Support [April 2014 Update]
**image courtesy of Colin_K via fotopedia