I have to laugh at Gods sense of humor, we’ve not only had the longest transition to full-time ministry in history at 13 years, but now hold the title of shortest term full-time missionaries in history, 4 months……BUT now I’m going for the most transitions back into full-time ministry, we’ll return as soon as we can get funding up……….Oh well.
I haven’t given up, I’m now working at a manufacturer of aluminum boats, doing ministry in the jungle, and busting my hump taking whatever extra project I can to make a buck.
So what happen?..Partly economy, partly unfulfilled promises but mostly I’m my own worse enemy. We launched the year with three planned trips in 4 months, it takes lots of work to put together a trip to the jungle. Then there was the time I was in the jungle, almost 7 weeks. Mostly its my lack of ability to self promote and raise funds, I knew that I needed to be sitting down with people one-on-one and asking for support but there was always something to interfere. Something that I could call more important than setting up appointments, I hate asking for money. That seems odd because I believe what we’re doing in the jungle is one of a kind, out of the box, most effective way possible to mobilize the brothers there to take the gospel to the ends of the world that is going on today. I really believe in what we are doing and God being behind it. I guess that its too easy to hope that God will just make the money flow in. I’ve read all the books on funding, to separate the role of God in moving people to give and my role of letting our needs known without being pushy or too much of a salesman is difficult.
The other issue we have is designated funding. I don’t know if you can really call it a problem, but its an issue. We made a commitment in March that we would never borrow from, or use funds from one account to another to make the budget in Peru or support us. So as we have funds in the bank ear marked for projects we can’t use them to fund the monthly operations of JungleMaster. That’s great but we’re running the risk of bankrupting the ministry with cash still in the bank. That’s why I had to go out and find a job, the only solution was for us to give up our support to fund the work in the jungle. Is that still borrowing from one fund to keep another going? Yes, but its the only fund that I have discretion over, so what do we do? To those of you that send money for us as support, please bear with us and have patience and when giving increases we will transition back to “fuller-time ministry”.
|In San Jose|
What’s the hard part? Janet and I have put everything into this for years, for 80% of the time we didn’t get any support from JungleMaster, for two years we took $300 dollars a month and for 3 months we took our full support. We hoped and prayed as we went into full-time ministry that we had paid our dues and God was finally rewarding us….it just didn’t happen, and maybe it’s all because of me. Its just hard for me when its my family that has paid the highest price for this ministry.
Mostly though I need to say how much I appreciate everyone that has hung in there and supported us and this mission through the years. The steadfast friends that have sent funds year after year, the brother in Oklahoma that saved up and sent a cashiers check for $1:00, the 10 year old that saved his lawn mowing money all summer long and sent it to us…..these are sacred dollars………We often pray through each name as we send out our prayer letters; as we put on the labels its a reminder of a name, a family and a relationship, its just a small way we can make an offering back to those that support us.
Last Friday, I had talked to an on-fire supporter of ours, I told him of our need to find ways to get the budget straightened around; he shared it with his wife who proceeded to drop to her knees to ask God to help. Their little girl listened into mom, ran upstairs and grabbed her piggy bank and came down and said, “Here mom, give this to the people in the jungle”…my oh my….that makes me tear up.
You still can help….there is the seemingly “not so obvious idea” of giving, also… how about hooking us up with someone in your church. Having an opportunity to speak before a congregation and let the Holy Spirit touch hearts bears amazing fruit. One Sunday can literally change our economic future. We went to a small community church of 25 people and in two Sundays raised one time gifts of over $3,000.00.
We also want your stuff. Everyone has something of value that has been just sitting around collecting dust that they don’t want. It maybe too much of a hassle or just not worth your time to sell, ship and deal with. We have a team of people ready to come get it and clean it up to sell it for JungleMaster. We have had lots of weird stuff that we have been able to move,… give me a call at 360.510.1563
I’m also working on writing a book, its title is, “The JungleMaster” following God in the Amazon. One day when you read about all of the stuff we’ve been through it will blow you away. Its not a “Jim Elliot” story, more of a “Annie” meets “Godzilla”………………………..
We won’t quit, God will provide……has provided and will continue to bless…
Thanks…Tom and Janet