Most ministries, when writing a financial appeal letter, will wait until the end before stating their real purpose. I will spare you from reading the rest of this blog, or at least give you a choice not to, by getting right to the point. Without any guile and subtle manipulation so common in ministry today, Carolyn and I are asking you to prayerfully consider being a partner to this ministry to help us with our increasing travel expenses, especially internationally.
Here are two scriptures that will help support our appeal for support.
“And how shall they preach unless they are sent?” (Rom. 10:15)
“ Dear friend, you are doing a good work for God in taking care of the traveling teachers and missionaries who are passing through. 6 They have told the church here of your friendship and your loving deeds. I am glad when you send them on their way with a generous gift. 7 For they are traveling for the Lord and take neither food, clothing, shelter, nor money from those who are not Christians, even though they have preached to them. 8 So we ourselves should take care of them in order that we may become partners with them in the Lord’s work” (3 Jn. 5-8 – LB).
We are not asking for more partners so we can accumulate more of this world’s wealth and carnal things. Instead, we are wanting to honor more invitations to the nations so that we can reach more people and fulfill our calling to carry the Spirit of God and the fire of God, and to draw forth provision of the wisdom of God for the places God sends us. Our last trip to West Africa in June/July produced profound change, not only in the hearts of the leaders and people we ministered to, but in the nation as well Encouragement To The Nation.
Financial stewardship in the ministry is a public trust. I can’t relate to people and ministers who are believing God just for more things. I’m also mindful of how the early apostles did not manipulate people for their money nor live above those they ministered to, which is a common problem today. I really can’t relate to ministers who think God’s stamp of approval is to live like royalty. It is disturbing to even think someone could place us in that category.
We do not live on a fixed salary like most pastors do. Pastors can be on vacation or attending a conference or some other function away from the pulpit, and most still receive their weekly salary. That is not so with us. Due to budgetary reasons we’re not usually able to do those things. Barring unexpected offerings, we don’t make it unless we are on the road ministering on a regular basis. Because most of the church world operates on a tithes and offering system many pastors have other amenities and benefits that are covered by their churches that we don’t have privilege of. This is not a plea for pity but sharing from an honest heart of the real needs that face this ministry.
To supplement our road offerings we do have a core of partners who support us monthly, or with occasional gifts for which we are so grateful for. When we travel overseas it is even more demanding financially, as we are not guaranteed offerings and often we’ve had to pay our own expenses.
For example, right now we have an invitation to the Azores in Portugal to minister in January that we need to at least cover the airfare for. We also have one to Liberia for January/February 2018. We are not backed by any denomination or a single church that pays these expenses for us. Some pastors can travel overseas any time they want to or need to because their church pays for it. Yet, most of them are not even called to travel in the same way we are – by divine commission. After agonizing over our travel expenses for years and beating the bushes to try and raise the funds, especially for international travel, I felt the Lord gave me an idea.
About three years ago I asked 30 churches whom we have some level of relationship with to each commit to a monthly amount to cover our international expenses on an annual basis, so that we could already have it in our budget and plan things in advance. Only two churches responded to that request, and one was our home church who committed to paying for one trip per year. Usually we have to raise funds for Carolyn when she travels with me, which is almost always now, except when I go to rough places not fit for her.
Think about this: If just 20 churches or 20 people would commit to $50 per month or whatever amount God would lay on your heart for our travel fund, that would add up to $1000 per month or $12,000 per year. We are called to America and to the nations as well. Depending on geographic location and total trip expense the both of us could easily travel to 3-4 nations per year on that amount. This would help us plan ahead instead of crediting our expenses and risk running behind on our finances, which is not preferable nor is it good stewardship.
As an example, we traveled to West Africa this summer and the total trip expense for us both was over $4000 conservatively (airfare alone was about $1700 each and visas were $160 each – n0t cheap). Most of that amount was covered by one American church and our overseas hosts, but if we could spread that out and have a broader base of partnership for it, it would make the load lighter for everybody, and help us plan well in advance.
If you do not feel led to give monthly, would you prayerfully consider sowing into our Azores, Portugal trip in January?
You can donate here using our DONATE button or give by check to:
Holy Fire Ministries
PO Box 4527
Windham, NH 03087
To express our appreciation to each new partner who commits to one year of monthly support for our international travel we will send you one of our books of your choice Holy Fire Books. Just let us know which one and email us your name and shipping address to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please make a note that you are partnering with us for travel to the nations. Just mark your check ‘missions’.
Thanks for your understanding and God bless you for your obedience.