I can’t believe it’s been three months since my last blog. In February I wrote about the “Circle of Silence”, and have continued fighting the spiritual battle. As my friend and YWAM missionary colleague, Dr. Luke puts it, “Three steps forward, two steps back.”; and, about the time we think we’re gaining ground, a boulder rolls over us and knocks us back to the bottom of the hill.
I am still working with the rehab center above our campus, leading the young men through “The Truth Project”. I have translated both the leader’s Guide and participant handouts into Spanish using Google translate. Dr. Luke has been proofreading them to ensure that the translations are comprehensible, as some things don’t really translate into ideas that are understood; i.e., there is no concept of “Thinking outside of the box” here. I have also transcribed and translated a video called “El-Zabbaleen” in order to add subtitles in Spanish.
I am no longer doing the children’s ministry in Chalpicote, as our director feels that, since there is no concept of Children’s Church in the bible, the children should be in with the adults. We have, however, been doing more outreach in the village and, I have been going to Mezcala when I get a chance; working with another ministry that is helping a newly planted church.
Now, about the title. If you’ve known me for any length of time, or if you’ve read “No Mere Coincidences, a journey of faith“, you know that one thing I don’t like to talk about is money, unless it is to give glory to God for his abundant blessing. I have lived on faith for nearly ten years now and rarely had to ask for help. On both my walking journey and my bicycle journey I relied on God speaking to the people He put in my path. Without ever asking for anything but water and a place to set my tent, people would give me love gifts; food, clothing, and cash. Pastors would talk to me for a few minutes, and ask me to speak in the service, after which they would take a love offering for me.
I don’t like asking for money, but I’m in a new season now. Only once, since I’ve been in Mexico, has someone randomly come up to me and said ‘Here, I feel like God wants me to give you this.’ At times I have posted a link on Facebook where donations could be sent, praying that God would speak to people’s hearts to make a donation. That rarely worked.
As an independent minister and YWAM missionary, I have to raise funds, not only for myself, but also to execute the visions of ministry God has given me.
With that in mind, I would like to share with you, my financial situation and what God has laid on my heart, as well as a link to “Gleanings from the Field” blog entitled, “Where do missionaries get their money”
First, my income. I have a small ($400.00) a month pension. I have one friend who has committed to sending $50.00 per month and about 3 friends who, when they can, send between $25-$100. In all, this year, I have received just under $700.00 in donations. Just before the end of last year, I received a very generous donation which paid for my travel expenses back to the U.S. in January, which, until I have money for a missionary visa, I have to do every 6 months.
Second, monthly my expenses. My staff, or association fees at YWAM Guadalajara take half of my pension. Of course, tithes and offerings. My phone is quite reasonable at $10-$15 a month(depending on how much internet I use). Each month I have been spending anywhere between $100-$150 on things to either improve the campus or help with ministry. Examples of this are: to date I have bought 6 waffle makers and make everyone waffles for breakfast once a month(cooking is one way I show love). Some other items are “The Truth Project” in Spanish, Speakers and microphones to use when showing videos such as the Jesus Film, Children’s ministry videos, The Truth Project, etc., A pool filter for keeping the fountains clean, Pots, pans, mixing bowl, toaster, mixer and utensils for the staff dorm, equipment for the Gym to improve fitness… Each time I go for children’s outreach I go through around 300 balloons and 5-10 pounds of candy. This month I purchased a BBQ grill for the staff dorm. As we are often on our own for dinner,(which often means leftover beans, rice and tortilla’s), I try to keep some food in the dorm kitchen. Also, about twice a month I go to eat with others from church, spending about $5-$6 each time. Bus and taxi fees; I don’t own any vehicles so I usually take a bus when I go to church or into town. That’s $1-$2 round trip. If I have more than I carry, I have to take a taxi at $5.00 one way.
Other expenses: As I stated above, in order to renew my visa, I have to leave the country every 6 months. Next month I will probably find the cheapest way to Texas and find a church that will let me set my small tent up for a couple of days. As I am 6′ tall, muscular and overweight, I can’t find clothes here(apparently, everyone with my waist size is about 5′ 9″). With size 13W feet, I can’t even buy socks here, let alone shoes. With the terrain here, 2 pairs of shoes last about 6 months. I also go through a pair of work pants in about 6 months. In other words, while in Texas I will have to buy socks, underwear, T-shirts, pants and shoes.
The Vision: As I shared in a previous blog, God has given me a vision of taking the gospel, both around Lake Chapala and into remote areas. I am in the process of organizing an Endurance Discipleship Training School which will focus on outdoor ministry. The Outreach phase would include taking the gospel by canoe around the lake and to hard to reach areas by backpack. To do this I need to raise around $15,000 in equipment or money to purchase the equipment. I am also trying to put together a reliable, portable, self-contained media kit for showing such things as the Jesus Film anywhere, even if there’s no power. The multi-media projector I’ve been looking at is in the price range of $500.00.
As you can see, there is always a need in ministry. I have never heard a missionary say ‘We’ve gotten so many donations that we don’t know where to spend it.’ So I am asking you, Please, pray for all the missionaries you know. If God leads you to sponsor me or another one, monthly or a one-time donation, do it! One of Satan’s biggest tricks it to make you wonder if that missionary really needs it. I almost guarantee that the answer is YES! DONATE NOW
As always, thank you for your prayers. I may never know how many trials I overcome because of friends praying. I love you all!
In His Service,