It’s not even 7 am and I’m already feeling discouraged today. Not a good way to start things off. We’ve gotten our financial support updates in the last 24 hours and the situation isn’t looking good.
Naturally as missionaries we’re responsible for raising our own financial support to live here. The mission provides a house and we pay $150 US /person each month to go towards accommodation, food and transportation. We’re responsible for any other personal needs as well. Chris and I had both had a support base built up while we were single. When we got married we saw a big boost in our support levels. I think people were happy to give to see us start our new life together. Over the last 8 months though we’ve seen a drastic drop off, this last month being the lowest so far. I could work a part time job in Canada for minimum wage and bring in more than what we had come in last month – between the two of us – just to give you an idea.
The question of whether we should take a salary from the mission has come up many times at board meetings. Our board wants to see us taken care of. We want to see the funds that are donated to the mission go towards mission work, not tied up in salaries or high administration costs. We know that by raising our own support we also have a base of people that are thinking about us, praying for us and loving us. We have people to be accountable to for the work we’re doing here.
This whole situation is hard for us. Chris has lived in Haiti through robberies, seeing an employee shot in the neck, a coup, almost being evacuated, being shot at and having neighbors yell at him for senseless things, just to compile a small list. I’ve been here for some of that, but not all. It seems crazy to think that through all of that, things that would have provided ample reason to pack bags and head for Dodge there has been the decision to stay, and now the one thing that could make it impossible for us to stay here long term is funding.
I don’t know how to wrap my brain around that. Or my heart. We know that if we want to have a family we can’t do it living on what we live on. It wouldn’t be possible. We would definitely be considered irresponsible parents.
I know that God is trying to teach us to lean on him and to trust him. You would think that would get easier with time after living in a place like this, but it doesn’t seem to. The lesson still needs to be learned over and over again. A friend of mine shared a quote with me the other day – “Life is long because people are slow to learn.” She couldn’t remember who said it so I can’t give credit to anyone. It really resonated with me though.
I know that we need to spend some more time praying about this and I’ll ask you to as well. It’s a hard one to stomach. It’s so easy to go into things like wondering if people have forgotten about us, if we said something to offend them, or if they don’t think we’re doing real mission work because we haven’t been called to evangelism, we’ve been called to help meet peoples basic needs. The questions of why roll though my head more than I would like to admit. I don’t know why, it just is. I find myself thinking about all of the things we could do to make people want to give, but I know that’s not for us to do, that’s God’s work.
Chris and I never want people to give because they feel guilty or that they just should. We want people to give because they really believe in what we’re doing here and because God has asked them to support us this way. If you’ve been considering supporting us or know someone that might be interested please go here for more information about how you can do that. If you’re already a supporter through prayer, encouragement or finances, please know how much we love and appreciate that. We really wouldn’t be able to do anything here without you. We can see your prayers at work every day in so many ways – safety, the progress at the mission, the lack of major problems over the last few months, having working vehicles, good health, wisdom, and a sense that this is where God wants us to be.
Thanks for reading, for praying, and for loving us.