We believe that we can’t ask others to do what we will not do ourselves. We were both brought up to believe in working hard and making a difference and also being disciplined and making sacrifices. In preparation for our new adventure in Spain on of the first things that we discussed is what are WE going to do moving forward to support the mission in Spain.
In the spring of 2007 I was preaching regularly at Rey De Reyes Church in Lomatova and one of the topics that I was preaching on was how Christ want’s us to live abundantly. That is a hard message to preach to people who earn less in a month than most high schoolers working part-time at McDonalds make in a week. None-the-less that was an important message that the people needed to hear.
It wasn’t a message they hadn’t heard before, but a lot of times when someone preaches about abundant life they can be tempted to stray dangerously close to prosperity theology. I am not a proponent of prosperity theology although I do believe that we can ask our generous Heavenly Father for blessings and he will bless us. Not because he is a magic piñata that we can whack to get our wishes, but because he is a good God who wants to bless us. The main point of my teaching to help counter prosperity theology’s teaching was that God, more often than not, chooses to bless us through opportunities and not just through miraculous gifts (although I have received some pretty miraculous gifts from God!). God gives us gifts and talents to use for His glory, but also to our benefits.
At the time we were fully supported missionaries and trust me that is a full-time and a half job, but in a culture where being a minister is not considered a job, it was hard for me to connect with the people and help them understand that I DO have a job. With the kids in school I had some time in the morning to start up a web design business. I had worked in TV while I was in college and learned a ton about design and marketing and had been learning a bit about web design and development so I was able to start contracting myself to work on websites and videos.
Requests for my work started to pick up and pretty soon I was turning away work because I didn’t have enough time to do all the projects. It helped me to connect with the people I was ministering to but more than that, God was preparing us for the economic downturn in the US that would eliminate 90% of our monthly support in less than 6 weeks! That’s right, in 6 weeks we went from 100% support to 10%. The beauty of it all was that we didn’t have to miss a beat because I was able to pick up the slack by taking on a few more projects. When other missionaries had to go home to raise funds again, we were able to stay and even expand our ministry because God provided us with the opportunity contribute to our own ministry.
Now, planning for Spain we had to make the decision of whether we would continue the work or not, and we came to the conclusion that God wanted to continue to use our talents to advance his kingdom. We have asked him to provide donor who would be willing to support our ministry again so that I could cut back on the number of hours I am working on the web design business, or help us to learn to be more efficient and find other streams of revenue that will not have such a demand on our time.
So going forward we will continue to work as tent-makers, because the feeling of being able to contribute personally to your own ministry was such a blessing to us, but we are also praying, and asking you to pray with us as well, that God will provide other streams of income or increased missionary support so we can dedicate more time to the ministry.
In preparation for our mission to Spain we also did some other things to help provide financially:
- We sold all of our household goods and furniture keeping only our library, some office equipment that is for the business and the kids toys
- We continue to do more web design and Karen has even learned some web basics to help take some of the load off my shoulders and I am proud of her for that
- Noah and Belén also sold their bikes and some of the toys they didn’t want to take to Spain to help out too, and they have been hard workers while were are here in Arizona doing chores and small jobs to help pay for some things they want to take with them to Spain
- Noah and Belén have also been little entrepeneurs and once we get to Spain will “Release a Line” of greeting cards and Christmas cards to help raise money for the ministry in Spain (We will have to buy a scanner when we get there…)
We also contributed financially to supporting the orphanages in Mexico and gave our offerings to the local churches and we will continue to do that as we try to set an example of generosity and sacrificial giving for our children and the people we will be ministering to.
If you would like to support our ministry you can click here to find out how to conribute.